Is Cortana already a dead platform


There is a lot of hype about Cortana in the Microsoft world, it’s AI and capabilities.

I wonder how much Cortana is really used on the PC and whether the “Cortana search” is just people typing in the box as a convenience.

I am also in the UK and for many of us outside the USA Cortana features just dont exist. Cortana has never noticed an email from British Airways about my holidays. It hasn’t got a clue about railway journeys in the UK, when Yodel or DPD are going to deliver a parcel, or even my local buses that it consistently gets wrong.

It also has problems about timing my trip to work because I dont have a car. Even if I did traffic conditions are an unknown quantity. There is much more but fundamentally it is not a lot of use. 

Where these features are most useful are in mobile. Getting to the right place with map integration etc. However Windows 10 Mobile is not the most popular platform and in the Uk it suffers from mapping inaccuracy and poor knowledge of the locality. That’s really strange because “Local Scout”, the old Windowsphone “local” solution was pretty good. 

Of course Cortana can’t show me electronically stored tickets because it has no apps or knowledge of the local transit. That seems to be changing in the maps app but many times it’s just wrong. When I am mobile it cant pop up flght delays because it can’t process airline ticket stuff in Europe it seems. I have read up on this and apparently the email sent by the airline has to be in specific format. Well that’s not going to happen soon because business jsut doesn’t help like that. You have to develop some kind of AI recognition – a little like the skill Cortana is supposed to have.

if you have to use an Android phone for a while then Cortana disappears. Outside the USA Cortana is not even in the Play Store. You are forced to using Google Now which seems to work very well here in the UK. You can sideload Cortana manually here in Britain on your Android devicebut it only accepts US regional settings so it’s less useful than the Windowsphone version.

Google just re-branded to the Google Assistant and with the non-existance of a Microsoft mobile device strategy the direction of travel is people using Google Now or Siri as their primary AI bot assistant. 

Cortana had great potential when launched but all the other platforms have matured much faster than the Master Chief’s AI. Microsoft are showing no real move to making Cortana’s existing features to work well globally and keep adding US only features. It’s a sure receipe for parochial AI. A sort of “Truman Show” AI that works great inside a limited bubble. 

Post Reply