Cortana, Microsoft

Windows 10 updates are pouring in like monsoon rains. The rumours have all now been outed and we are getting genuine reports from the big guys themselves. Here’s another good news for people who are part of the Windows Insider Programme: The Windows 10 Cortana will be available in Australia, India, Canada and Japan this summer and it will be heading for Brazil and Mexico by the end of this year.

Windows users will already know that opening up Cortana on the above mentioned countries, currently, on their Windows Phones or even PCs (if available), for that matter, would result in… well nothing (which is quite frustrating). You would just be told that Cortana isn’t ‘currently’ available for your location.

Well, that’s about to change now. According to the Redmond giant, the new virtual assistant will be released along with Windows 10 in all its glory this summer.

There’s a catch though, the new service will only be available to those who are participating in the Windows Insider Programme, when it launches. So, if you haven’t signed up yet, head right here and get the beta installation of Windows 10.

And guess what folks, our new assistant won’t be a dumb computer, she will have a personality.

The new voice assistant, Microsoft says, will have a personality which is tweaked to better suit the tastes of the people using it. In fact, the behavior of Cortana is said to be inspired from the culture of the place where it will be used. For instance, in Australia, Cortana will sound a little more laid back, while in Japan, she will behave more like a “friend of a friend”.

We’re not designing a one-size-fits-all experience — we really wanted to embrace local customs and we took this into account when creating the digital personal assistant to be very unique to each culture,

said Microsoft’s Susan Hendrich, principal program manager lead, in an interview with CNET.

This means having local teams that talk to customers and how to adjust Cortana’s personality accordingly. We have writers located in Japan, who have grown up and truly understand the culture, what is culturally appropriate, the importance of national identity, the level of politeness and formality used in chit-chat.

The new Cortana is also reported to have many new features including chit chat where you can have a small fun chat session with your personal AI where you can ask her to crack jokes or tell you stories. Then there’s other goodies like weather reports, sports alerts, anticipating your calendar appointments and a lot more. There is also a new at-a-glance panel called the Notebook which, as the name suggests, give you important info at a glance.

The new features of Cortana will be available not just for your Windows 10 smartphones but also on your PCs and Microsoft has even gone a bit over the edge by making their (smart?) personal assistant available on other mobile platforms. You could sign up now and get the developer preview, or wait until next week when the whole lot is officially released.


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