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Microsoft Cortana gets a new list skill just in time for the holidays

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Microsoft’s Cortana personal digital assistant offers a nice set of functionalities today. She provides a machine-intelligence-backed voice response system for searches, roots through email to offer up suggestions for upcoming events and package deliveries, and ties systems together with reminders that can be set on one device and show up everywhere.

Cortana is also largely a back-end system, meaning that adding features and functionality to the personal assistant is as easy as flipping a switch on Microsoft servers. This is particularly helpful as holidays and other important events roll around, and a new list skill is being rolled out just in time for the upcoming holiday season, as Microsoft lets us know via a Windows blog post.

Given that December brings a number of holidays that involve gift-giving worldwide, of which Christmas is just one, PC users around the globe are likely already cleaning up their shopping lists. Now, Cortana is hoping to make the task of managing the hectic process of matching loved ones, business associates, teachers, and others with their wish lists just a little bit easier.


Starting today, you can simply ask Cortana to make a new list and she’ll respond accordingly. Once a list has been created, you can ask Cortana to add an item and she’ll do so, and opening a list is just a “Hey Cortana” away. Because Cortana runs on iOS, Android, and Windows 10 devices, she’ll also keep your lists synced and up to date no matter which of them you’re using.

For even more complex lists, Cortana also works with Microsoft’s Wunderlist task manager. Connect Cortana to your Wunderlist account, and you can use Cortana to create tasks in that app for even more list-management functionality.

You can give the new Cortana list skill a try by saying, “Hey Cortana, create a holiday list.” Stay tuned to the Microsoft blog for more holiday fun, as the company is known for using Cortana as the conduit for adding some personality to Windows 10 as holidays roll around.

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