Microsoft made smart move for Cortana! at IFA

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I know what is the situation for Cortana and how Microsoft is moving slowly about it. Moreover, Paul and Brad discussed the situation many times in articles and podcasts. However, I think Microsoft revealed more about their strategy. Their OEM introduced 2 laptops at IFA, and I quote from The Verge that “Lenovo’s Yoga 920 laptop is basically a home speaker. It responds to Cortana commands even if it’s closed and you’re more than two feet away. Acer’s Spin 5 convertible features Cortana and can register commands up to 13 feet away”.

I could be wrong but I feel that Microsoft might think there is no need of standalone home speaker if you can use your PC or your laptop as a home Speaker.

Comments (8)

8 responses to “Microsoft made smart move for Cortana! at IFA”

  1. Avatar

    jimchamplin

    And what’s the price point of these machines? Are they able to compete with a Google Home or Amazon Echo? I’ll wager that they’re not.


    It’s the hardware that Microsoft seriously sucks at. Not only can they not execute and iterate on products because of their glacial pace, they can’t surprise anyone with amazing gadgets. Just more PCs with gimmicks.

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    rob_segal

    Pinning Cortana's hopes on a declining platform while other competitors (Google and Apple) are leveraging growing mobile platforms to push smart speakers is a doomed endeavor. Microsoft could have succeeded like Amazon did, but they tripped over their own feet and as a consequence, this is another consumer market they will not have much of a play in, if they have one at all.

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    Roger Ramjet

    It is a bad approach to try and decide for the market. If a competitor is succeeding with a new idea, take it, copy and refine on it quick. It doesn't mean don't incorporate into the existing platform, but doing that is no excuse for letting the market get away from you. Afterall, your cell phone is right there in your pocket, so Google could have said screw it, this speaker thing is a gimmick. But they did not. Because you should meet the customers where they are, and then, you stand a chance to lead them back what you think is optimal. If they follow or not, you still win something.

    There are bunch of shortcomings you can list with either speaker or PC approach, and actually a light computing device like tablets that have that the far field speakers would be better than either the standalone speaker or the PC. Amazon already tried to iterate on that, but how long before people realize, hey, this is just an iPad, I already have, why would I buy this facetime thingy.  But if it had been Microsoft that captured the audience with those speakers, naturally, they can then populate backwards to Windows tablets, future ARM tablets, even Android & iPhones, since Cortana is on there. It could have been one of the ways to get out behind the default settings in mobile. But they missed the boat. Again.

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    Daishi

    I think what this strategy needs as well are relatively cheap connected speakers which while not 'smart' themselves can connect back to a pc on the same wifi network to act as if they were. As jimchamplin suggests below a $1300 laptop is too expensive to pin the strategy to, but if any PC could achieve the same sort of thing with the addition of a say $100 speaker and microphone device I think that could work.

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    Bats

    First of all, Cortana is not even in the same league as Google Assistant. Microsoft has to improve on that. Second, you're gonna put a Lenovo Yoga 920 in the kitchen or in another communal area, with all your data in it?


    Cortana is not popular on Android or iOS, what makes you think people are going to use it on a PC? The Lenovo Yoda is starts at $650. For that money, you can buy 6-7 Google Homes or Amazon Echos and place them in all or most of your rooms. This is far better and more convenient for elderly people then to shout at your Lenovo PC that is probably separated by rooms and walls.

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    Angusmatheson

    Spoken assistants seem to me to work best ambient - when you can just talk to it. Which seems best with fixed microphone devices - like Echo- or with a wearable - like Apple Watch, or Bluetooth in a car When I am in front on a PC which a desktop OS - both spoken AI Siri and Cortana doesn't seem much helps. Maybe a computer could be an AI microphone - but I think you would want one in every room - and I can't imagine anyone except a mega-nerd like me and the other readers of this site would consider putting a PC in every room. But a speaker in every room, that sounds reasonable.

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    maethorechannen

    There doesn't need to be a standalone speaker for Cortana not because of what the OEMs are doing but because of that Alexa/Cortana tie up.

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    VancouverNinja

    I think everyone is pretty much missing it, based on the current posts.


    This new capability is just that, an new way to use Cortana on PC's, Laptops etc. Microsoft will still be having standalone speaker based systems as well from their partners and who knows if they launch their own in the fall? I would also hazard a guess that this will be built into all Xbox's.


    It is starting to look like Microsoft Cortana will be everywhere vs the competitors. It's very clear we are at the beginning of this new AI computing segment and this announcement, alongside the partnership with Alexa, makes MS look like they are putting together the strongest solution to date. It will be interesting to see the full launch this fall to understand how the pieces are really coming together.

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