Couple of months back, Microsoft unveiled Cortana for Windows Phone 8.1. Cortana is a virtual intelligent assistant, created by Microsoft and is being rolled out with Windows Phone 8.1 this year. At the SMX Advanced search marketing conference in Seattle, a question was raised asking if Cortana would be available for Android and IOS in future. Marcus Ash, a group program manager for Windows Phone, replied, “It’s a bit of a head-scratcher for us right now.”
“It’s interesting to think about the future of these assistants and whether they become a reason to buy into the ecosystem. That is the other tension we have. If you play this out five to ten years, and these assistants become the reason you choose Android or iOS or Windows, then what’s our position? Could Cortana be the thing that, as a Windows user, (makes me feel like) I’ve got to get a Windows phone?” Ash said.
Danny Sullivan, SMX Advanced conference organizer, also pointed out that if the Microsoft Bing search app is available across iPhone and Android, could it be possible for Microsoft to port Cortana there as well? Rob Chambers, a group program manager from Microsoft Research, replied that it’s not easy for them to integrate Cortana as seamlessly on Android or iOS, compared to Windows Phone.
“There are a lot of investments that Microsoft has already made, and we’re making even more of them in these other ecosystems,” Chambers said. “But then you have to think, what does it mean for Microsoft as a whole? Microsoft right now is working the best together I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been at the company for 19 years. And so is there a strategy for Microsoft that makes sense, and what role does Cortana play in that particular environment?”
Microsoft has seen an increased willingness to work with other platforms, as evident with Office – which is available on the iPad and rumored to be arriving soon on Android.
Do you think Microsoft will make Cortana available for iOS and Android in the future? Most importantly, would you like to see Cortana on those platforms?