Microsoft’s smart voice assistant Cortana has yet to branch out into the real world. In other words, Microsoft doesn’t sell an Amazon Echo-style device or a Google Home-like product with Cortana built-in. Now we’re learning a bit more about Microsoft’s strategy, and why it may not need to develop one of those products at all.
ZDNet recently noticed a slide from Microsoft’s WinHEC conference where the company detailed plans to put Cortana in all sorts of internet-of-things (IoT) devices, ranging from fridges to toasters and everything between.
The plan is to roll Cortana out to those products in part of Microsoft’s Windows 10 Creator’s update, which is due out early next year. The update includes “Wake on Voice from Modern Standby” and “Far-field Voice,” ZDNet explained, which means Cortana should be able to answer to a command shouted from across the room.
Microsoft has a very compelling plan for Cortana
The software will only work on devices with screens, it seems, and my guess is it will launch on new Windows 10 IoT devices. I can’t think of a toaster that already runs Windows 10, but correct me if I’m wrong.
Still, it’s a fascinating approach to the smart home assistant and one where Microsoft certainly has a leg up over competition who might not necessarily have these partners already in place. Google could potentially do something with an IoT version of Android, of course, but there hasn’t been any evidence that’s the path it wants to take.