Catching up with the ground-breaking innovations of Google and Apple, Microsoft updated its latest Windows OS with the delayed but functional voice assistantCortana. Windows’ personal virtual companion was rightly named after the fictional character of Halo game series as it had similar personality traits like intelligence and wittiness. But recently, Microsoft made an announcement that dilutes the exclusive rights of Windows Phone users. The Redmond-based tech behemoth launched an app called ‘Phone Companion’ that will make Cortana and many other apps privileged to Windows Phone users across platforms. It means users will soon be able to download Cortana and Music apps on their Android and iOS smartphones.
As soon as a user plugs in the iOS or Android device to a Windows 10 running machine with Phone Companion pre-installed, a slew of apps become available to the user for installation. The list includes Microsoft Office, OneDrive, Skype, OneNote, Outlook, Cortana and Music. Phone Companion will help set up your phone to work seamlessly with Windows 10. Although, the Cortana functionality would be limited on iOS and Android platforms, the most basic feature of questioning Cortana would be there for all operating systems. Along with that, users will receive flight notifications, alerts including geographical ones, pre-set reminders and much more. The apps will be available in late June on Android and later this year, on iOS.
Cortana was one exceptional feature that caught hold of everybody’s attention. Even with the presence of Apple’s Siri and Google’s virtual assistant Google Now, tech critics were compelled to accolade Cortana for its humorous responses, exceptional performance and being an all time companion. With Cortana invading the two major operating systems, it is likely to corner Siri and Google Now to a certain extent. The content on the devices will be more synchronized with the aforementioned set of apps. Photos, files and songs saved on your handset, will automatically transfer to your PC for easy accessibility.
Here’s the video demonstrating how the Phone Companion app will work:
According to Microsoft, the company “set up with the goal to make Windows 10 for everyone” and this led to the release of the Phone Companion app. But does this move really favour Microsoft? The firm is dropping its unconventional invention in the wide ecosystem of Android and iOS, which it could have cashed in on. The exclusivity of Cortana on a Windows Phone could have given a push to the company in the smartphone segment, which Microsoft is in dire need of. The recent move can further plunge the demand of Windows Phones in the market as users now have the option to activate voice assistance on their handsets.
If you examine Microsoft’s current trend with respect to its apps and softwares, you’ll see that Microsoft is making its distinctive tools, omnipresent. It started with Microsoft Office, earlier exclusively available to Windows Phone users, and Skype and many other apps soon added to the universal apps listing. It’s a plus for Windows’ antagonists, Android and iOS, but it is uncertain if this move turns out to be profitable for Microsoft. The tech firm could have easily tapped on Cortana and Continuum features to convert them into increased market shares. Seems like Microsoft is opting for a different approach to make a higher podium for itself in the flooded smartphone market. But if the strategy fails to work, Microsoft’s smartphone division may soon face a similar situation to Nokia.