Cortana

Microsoft Surface Buds could see Cortana challenge AirPods

Microsoft Surface Buds could see Cortana challenge AirPods

Microsoft is reportedly preparing to take on Apple's AirPods with some smart wireless earbuds of its own, joining the line-up alongside the Surface Headphones. If the earbuds make it to market, it would mean further validation for the audio-focused wearable space, where virtual assistants communicate via voice interactions rather than showing data with displays.

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Cortana doesn’t need smart speakers to win insists Microsoft exec

Cortana doesn’t need smart speakers to win insists Microsoft exec

Microsoft isn't letting underwhelming interest in Cortana smart speakers sour it on the assistant technology, even if Amazon Echo and Google Home still get the lion's share of sales - and attention - in the connected home. The software giant still resists calls to develop its own smart speaker, instead relying on third-party hardware like the Harman Kardon Invoke to fill that niche.

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Cortana and the Windows 10 search bar are getting divorced

Cortana and the Windows 10 search bar are getting divorced

Cortana is getting separated from the Windows 10 search bar, with Microsoft's assistant getting a separate spot in the taskbar. The new functionality was released today in Windows 10 Build 18317 (19H1), the latest version of Microsoft's Insider Preview in the so-called Fast ring.

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This great Microsoft Surface Headphones deal won’t last long

This great Microsoft Surface Headphones deal won’t last long

Microsoft might not have been the first company you'd associate with audio equipment, but the Surface Headphones proved that, like in laptops, it was a force to be reckoned with. Announced earlier this year, the over-the-ear cans not only include active noise cancelation but Cortana integration, and now they've come in for a post-Christmas deal.

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Google Assistant was the smartest AI in 2018, but others are catching up

Google Assistant was the smartest AI in 2018, but others are catching up

Loup Ventures has published its annual smart speaker IQ test results, revealing how the four big personal assistant AIs performed when asked 800 questions each. Compared to the previous year, three products saw the biggest gain in IQ points and were able to answer a substantially higher percentage of questions versus 2017. However, Google Assistant still beat them all across the board.

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Now you can buy Amazon Echo devices from Microsoft

Now you can buy Amazon Echo devices from Microsoft

Amazon's Echo speakers and voice assistant Alexa are most synonymous, obviously, with Amazon the online store, but we're now seeing both offered in more and more places. One of the most surprising has been Microsoft, which seems to have acknowledged the shortcomings of its own assistant Cortana by cozying up with Alexa over the last few months in a number of ways. The latest is that Echo speakers are now sold directly by Microsoft both online and in store.

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Microsoft Surface Headphones revealed with Cortana built-in

Microsoft Surface Headphones revealed with Cortana built-in

While we expected the most of the hardware Microsoft announced today, the company still had a couple of surprises up its sleeve. The first was a follow-up to the Surface Studio, but the second was even more unexpected. As it turns out, Microsoft is making a pair of headphones. These aren't just any headphones, however; they're smart headphones.

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GLAS thermostat adds Alexa and Google Assistant support as preorders open

GLAS thermostat adds Alexa and Google Assistant support as preorders open

The striking GLAS thermostat has gained Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, with the two new AIs joining Cortana as the smart home gadget goes up for preorder. Announced last year, the voice-controlled HVAC controller has a distinctive translucent OLED screen which stands proud of the wall it's mounted on.

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Alexa-Cortana integration: How to get started

Alexa-Cortana integration: How to get started

If you're in the mood to combine your Amazon and Microsoft-made smart assistants on any one device, today's your day. Alexa can open Cortana and Cortana can open Alexa. Because there might be a very rare instance in which you want one or the other, this particular tie-in is live. It's just live in preview mode when this article is first published, but live nonetheless.

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Amazon, Microsoft launch Alexa and Cortana integration public preview

Amazon, Microsoft launch Alexa and Cortana integration public preview

Almost one year ago exactly, Amazon announced plans to integrate Microsoft's Cortana with its Alexa personal assistant. Under this integration, Alexa will be able to communicate with Cortana, and Cortana will also be able to communicate with Alexa. Today Amazon revealed the latest evolution in this plan, introducing a public preview that enables customers to experience the new functionality.

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Cortana will helpfully let you break into locked Windows PCs

Cortana will helpfully let you break into locked Windows PCs

The ubiquity of voice-controlled smart assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and even Microsoft Cortana should probably motivate an audit of our platforms’ security features. Because more often than not, the almost overarching powers given to these virtual assistants come at the price of, well, giving them too much power. Cortana may not be the most famous one of the bunch but, considering it’s pre-installed on every Windows 10 PC, especially laptops and tablets, then it has even more potential to do harm, as this McAfee report proves.

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Xbox One Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa integration spotted

Xbox One Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa integration spotted

Despite having the most “personality” among the smart assistants, thanks to being based on an actual game character, Cortana is perhaps even flatter than Apple’s Siri when it comes to capabilities. Microsoft might, instead, be opting to just embrace as many such assistants on its platforms as possible. Alexa has just recently made an appearance for the first time on Windows 10 desktops and notebooks and now it seems that the Xbox One will get double the fun with both Alexa and Google Assistant coming soon.

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