Cortana

Harman and Microsoft are bringing Office to your car’s infotainment system

Harman and Microsoft are bringing Office to your car’s infotainment system

One of the clearest trends at CES 2016 so far is that vehicle infotainment systems are the "new big thing," and because they are basically OS platforms for cars, it's time they run Microsoft Office. That may sound like a joke, but it's what Harman is actually working on, with help from Microsoft. Harman's vision is to allow drivers to use the Cortana voice assistant to do things like schedule meetings, join conference calls, and respond to emails.

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Cortana released today with Cyanogen for Android and iPhone

Cortana released today with Cyanogen for Android and iPhone

Users with iOS 8 or higher for iPhone and Android 4.1.2 or higher will be able to roll with Microsoft's voice assistant Cortana starting this afternoon. This is the first time the smart assistant will be available for these platforms, and Microsoft has wasted no time gaining partners for a full sweep. One of these partners is the software group Cyanogen. With Cyanogen OS, Microsoft will become one with the most-used so-called "3rd-party mod" for Android devices around the world.

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Cortana for iPhone debuts for Microsoft’s beta testers

Cortana for iPhone debuts for Microsoft’s beta testers

It was less than a month ago that Microsoft put out the request for those interested in beta testing Cortana for iPhone, and now those lucky enough to be selected are getting notified to download the voice-powered digital assistant. While designed to compete with Apple's own Siri, as well as Google Now, Microsoft's Cortana will be fairly limited on the iPhone in terms of capability, at least compared to the native Windows version.

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5 new Windows 10 features worth looking into

5 new Windows 10 features worth looking into

Microsoft has just rolled out the biggest update to Windows 10 for PCs yet. Considering its new practice of flowing updates as they come, it might almost be unusual for Microsoft to dump such a huge update and yet here it is. Of course, this is more than just a maintenance release and if you've been following news and hints for the past months, you will most likely be familiar with some of the changes. But in case you're only jumping in now, here are some of the five most noteworthy changes to your Windows 10 experience.

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Siri tops Google Now, Cortana in user satisfaction, accuracy

Siri tops Google Now, Cortana in user satisfaction, accuracy

A recent study carried out Experts Exchange has compared the user satisfaction ratings between the three main virtual assistants, Apple's Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft's Cortana. In survey covering a number of different aspects, including accuracy in answering questions and completing requests, along with overall satisfaction, Siri came out on top, followed by Google Now, and then Cortana.

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Microsoft seeking Cortana for iPhone beta testers

Microsoft seeking Cortana for iPhone beta testers

It was a little over a year ago that Microsoft denied any intentions of bringing Cortana, its own voice-activated virtual assistant, to other mobile platforms. Then in May of this year, the company announced what had been rumored for some time: Cortana for iOS and Android was in the works. Now, after months of internal development and testing, Microsoft is ready to start having select users beta test Cortana on the iPhone.

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AAA study finds hands-free smartphone features still distract drivers

AAA study finds hands-free smartphone features still distract drivers

Google, Apple, and Microsoft have worked hard to implement hands-free features when it comes to safely using their smartphones while behind the wheel, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road. While these settings are certainly better than physically holding and interacting with a phone while driving, it turns out they're not quite as safe as we all thought. A new study from the University of Utah and AAA (American Automobile Association) has found that voice commands can still be very distracting.

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Cortana on Xbox One unlocked by special key combo

Cortana on Xbox One unlocked by special key combo

Microsoft has more or less dashed hopes that Cortana will be coming to the Xbox One like an early Christmas gift this November, revealing that Microsoft's AI helper won't be fully activated until early next year. Of course, early testers will be able to get an appetizer before everyone else but, at least for now, even they are locked out of the experience. At least officially. Unofficially, there apparently is a way to force Cortana to appear on the New Xbox One Experience preview, thanks to a few presses of a controller button.

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Xbox One won’t really get Cortana until 2016

Xbox One won’t really get Cortana until 2016

Xbox's Major Nelson has just revealed another slew of features for the New Xbox One Experience, a.k.a. the NXOE, but this time around not all of them are good news. Well, to be fair, only one isn't. Despite having hyped about how Cortana will help gamers stay on top of things even in the middle of gaming, it seems that such gamers will have to wait a bit longer to experience that. When Microsoft releases NXOE later this year, Cortana will only be available as a preview, with a full rollout happening only next year.

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Look out! Cortana coming to cars, on windshields even

Look out! Cortana coming to cars, on windshields even

When you speak about personal assistants and cars, you will most likely think of Apple's Siri and Google's Google Now. But there is a third player in that field and it will be taking over not your dashboard but your windshield. At the company's Taiwan TechDays, Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research COO Samuel Shen revealed that it has developed a prototype connected car, one that of course integrates Cortana. One other key difference: it projects the virtual assistant unto windshields to provide immediate visual feedback without completely distracting drivers.

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Cyanogen CEO: Cortana will deeply integrate with Cyanogen OS

Cyanogen CEO: Cortana will deeply integrate with Cyanogen OS

Cyanogen CEO Kirk McMaster is known for not mincing words when it comes to trying to overthrow Google's iron hand over its own product. But now it seems that the startup's strategy for rivaling, if not ending, Google's monopoly over Android is to actually get in bed with a rival. Months after it announced a partnership with Microsoft, one that saw Microsoft's apps pre-installed in its Cyanogen OS, McMaster now claims that it is working with Redmond to integrate Cortana at the OS level instead of just an app on top.

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