microsoft logoOne of the ways companies such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft have managed to differentiate themselves from one another is through their voice assistant software. Apple has Siri, Google has Google Now, and Microsoft has Cortana. It is understandable that they’ll all be exclusive to their respective platforms, but Microsoft could be looking to change that.

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According to a report from Reuters, they have learnt that Microsoft could be thinking of releasing Cortana as a standalone app onto iOS and Android, but it won’t be the same Cortana as the one found on Windows Phone handsets, but a more advanced version of it. Reuters has learnt that Microsoft has been working on a more advanced version of Cortana as part of the company’s Einstein project.

Not much is known about the Einstein project at the moment or what it entails, but from what we can tell it sounds like it is about improving Cortana and making it more aware of the user in a bid to automate tasks and anticipate the user’s needs. According to Eric Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft Research, “This kind of technology, which can read and understand email, will play a central role in the next roll out of Cortana, which we are working on now for the fall time frame.”

This is actually a rather surprising move from Microsoft as we would have thought they would keep Cortana an exclusive feature to their Windows platform, but it will be interesting to see how it will fare when brought over onto other platforms.

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