Cortana is both Microsoft’s answer to Siri and the fulfilment of the imagination of every early Xbox gamer who wanted a purple hologram to help them with stuff. However, as easy as Halo made the idea of a talking AI who could simplify some of life’s day-to-day problems — like mowing down Covenant — the reality of producing such a product is much more difficult.
Which is why it’s taking Microsoft some time to make its digital assistant software available to everyone around the world. Cortana is now rolling out, though, and now, Windows insiders in Japan, Australia, Canada, and India can try it out for themselves. The latter three countries will receive English speaking versions — a limitation that might bother non-English speakers in India — Microsoft does intend for Cortana to slowly evolve into a multilingual tool.
Those wanting to give the new application a try will need to be a member of the Windows Insider team and be running Preview Build 10532+, but from there it’s as simple as selecting the optional download and setting it up as previous Cortana users have.
Throughout this period, Microsoft is encouraging users to prod and poke Cortana to see what she can do, and perhaps more importantly what she can’t. The firm is keen for everyone to send in feedback about their experience, much in the same way that Windows Insiders spent over six months helping Microsoft prepare for the launch of Windows 10.
The next plan for Cortana is to make her available to Windows Insiders in Brazil and Mexico, and to French Canadians, and from there is seems likely that Microsoft will continue to expand into new territories and improve on what Cortana can do.
What would you like to see the digital assistant software do? We’re still a long way from the OS seen in the Joaquin Phoenix movie ‘Her’ but there’s certainly some aspects of that system we’d like to have for our day-to-day lives.