Microsoft is planning on redesignating Cortana, its long-time digital assistant, with the next Windows 10 update. According to its official blog, the Redmond-based company announced that Cortana’s duties as a personal helper will be switched to becoming more of a productivity assistant.
As always, enhanced security is a core feature of the update. However, Microsoft says that the refreshed Cortana experience will revolve around Microsoft 365. The blog also says that Cortana will help users retrieve answers to questions via Bing, set alarms, open apps, adjust settings, and provide you with an anecdote or joke that can be “shared with colleagues, friends or family”. Although, the latter point seems to be a feature that seems to be a generic feature that exists on other digital assistants.
On a related note, Microsoft says that it will also be ending support for third-party apps and and consumer functions. Including connected home and access to music. Access to Cortana will also be beefed up, with the upcoming version requiring users to securely log in with a work or school account.
The change in Cortana’s functions also serves as a stark reminder of its popularity within the world of digital assistants. As it stands, Cortana is fighting a losing battle against the likes of Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s own rising star, Alexa. By comparison, the three digital assistants have received greater acceptance and integration into the homes and lives of many consumers. Primarily due to the connected home and family-friendly features that Cortana will soon lack.