Living in the UK I am used to the “US Only” nature of Microsoft’s release cycle. I remember at one point Bing Maps on my WindowsPhone actually began to deal with local public transport reasonably well just before WindowsPhone was cancelled.
One of those products is Cortana. It was supposed to be one of the most personal of personal assistants. In the UK it mostly didn’t track packages at all. It occasionally provided flight information but usually didn’t. It did cope with weather in Celsius so at least that worked. A mixed bag of some working things, some partially working things and a lot of stuff that never worked at all.
One of the new interfaces was voice. Cortana, as a personal assistant, would surely be part of a home speaker. Late in the day the Invoke speaker was announced and produced. It was the most expensive home speaker on the market and supported the US. Yes, the USA only.
As sales of the the second most expensive home speaker in the world tanked, only beaten in price by Apple’s Homepod, there seemed little hope for the rest of the planet getting this product. Microsoft announced a partnership with Amazon so that the Echo would get Cortana skills. With affordable Amazon speakers I could get Cortana to work for me using my voice at home. There were even demos at build.
Here I am in the UK. It’s July 2019. Can I use Cortana skills on my echo? Of course not. It’s “US Only”. Still unreleased for the rest of the planet.
Microsoft should really use the removal of Cortana as part of Windows 10 just to kill the product. It’s AI might be powering Office 365 functions but just let Cortana go. Once the mobile platform disappeared, and was followed by restricting Cortana functionality to the USA and giving up on smart speakers there wasn’t much point in Cortana. Let her go Microsoft.
<p>IMO smart speakers are more of a fad than a key technology. The sweet spot for voice recognition and response has always been enabling functionality that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to achieve without voice control. Within that most-important use-case Cortona on the Windows phone was superior to all the other options.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#445487">In reply to skane2600:</a></em></blockquote><p>Smart speakers, a fad? Are you kidding? No. I believe they are here to stay and will eventually evolve into other things that "better" innovators will invent. Hoever, they are not a fad. Smart speakers, like the Google Home or Amazon Echo make living today feel like a Star Trek episode. Through smart speakers, I can control my thermostat, find the weather, request info on the fly, turn on lights anywhere in the house, order pizza…..OMG….there is just so much more. FAD? LOL…..reading something like this, calling smart speakers a fad, reminds me of a famous saying a long time ago. "Whatcha talking about Willis?"</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#445825">In reply to Bats:</a></em></blockquote><p>"make living today feel like a Star Trek episode"</p><p><br></p><p>Sure, nothing fad-like about that.</p>