In terms of voice activated assistants, most people would probably identify with Siri. For a short time Apple dominated the tech world with this new and revolutionary idea. As one of Apple’s main competitors, Microsoft was lacking in the field of personal voice assistants. So late in the game they introduced their own Siri, called Cortana. While still relatively new, Microsoft is already rapidly progressing in this field with the Cortana software.
Today they announced that they will start to integrate third-party services directly into their Cortana software. The first new partnership to have spawned out of this is with the social network LinkedIn. According to Microsoft, you can now “use Cortana for…connect[ing] your LinkedIn account to Cortana to access more information about contacts and their photos”. Now when Cortana reminds you that you have a meeting, it can also bring up the LinkedIn profile of the person you are meeting with, giving you some essential last minute details. Microsoft previously used this type of integration in Outlook before, but this is the first time that the company can open up connected accounts outside of Microsoft.
What does all of this mean for the future of Cortana, Microsoft, and the tech industry as whole? For starters, Microsoft has found yet another way of integrating Cortana into everyday routines. There are many unexplored facets that Microsoft can delve into for Cortana’s daily use. If this business integration plan is a success, then other businesses will soon follow in LinkedIn’s footsteps. It will be very convenient to have your company’s essential information at the fingertips of any Windows user. Unfortunately for Microsoft, this plan is not a guaranteed success. If the LinkedIn integration is successful, companies like Apple may see this and start adopting uses like this for its own purposes. After all, Siri was the original and still is the more heavily used voice assistant. According to a recent study pitting Siri, Cortana, and Google Now against each other, Siri came out on top in the categories of voice, touch activation, gathering information, and unique abilities. Cortana only received one point from tying with Siri in the unique abilities category. I believe in order for Microsoft to stand a chance in the digital assistant competition, they will have to act fast by either upgrading Cortana, or appealing to more demographics. Funding a new and better Cortana in order to beat Siri may not be practical. Instead, Microsoft could partner Cortana with companies of other natures. It is hard to say in which direction would be best for Microsoft, but it couldn’t hurt to apply one such partnership to a younger demographic of technology users. I’m sure the younger demographic would love the idea of having Cortana directly linked to their Facebook or YouTube accounts. These are just a couple of possibilities for how Microsoft and Cortana can come out on top.
Hardawar, Devindra. "Windows 10's Cortana Taps into LinkedIn to Cure Your Meeting Anxiety." Engadget. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Oct. 2015.
Vincent, Brittany. "Siri vs. Cortana vs. Google Now: Why Apple’s Siri Is Best." Tom's Guide. N.p., 5 Dec. 2014. Web. 1 Oct. 2015.
Warren, Tom. "Microsoft Connects Cortana and LinkedIn Together for Windows 10." The Verge. N.p., 01 Oct. 2015. Web. 01 Oct. 2015.