Interestingly, Microsoft lists Cortana as the number 1 reason to choose Windows Phone, describing it as “The most personal smartphone assistant”.
She’s set to make the leap to Windows 8 shortly, and Marcus Ash, group product manager for Cortana, reckons the next logical step is a move to iOS and Android, those platforms having significantly more market share than Windows Phone.
Before we get started, what is Cortana? In a nutshell, it’s Windows Phone’s answer to Siri on iOS, and Google Now for Android.
In Microsoft’s words: “Cortana is powered by Bing. She gets to know you by learning your interests over time. She looks out for you, providing proactive, useful recommendations.”
When Cortana lands on Windows 8, Marcus Ash figures it’d make sense for the software to know what’s going on with the user’s phone, but with Windows Phone accounting for a relatively small slither of the smartphone market, realistically it’d demand compatibility with iOS and Android.
As documented in this YouTube video, Marcus explains: “We have a bunch of Windows customers - hundreds of millions that have Windows PCs, and would love for them to have a great Cortana experience, because once they have that they will probably consider other devices and say: 'Well, I want to match them up.'
“But how do we get Android users or these other iOS users that use Windows to have a great experience?"
Of course the age-old problem applies: by giving iOS and Android users access to Cortana on their phones, that’s arguably one more reason not to choose Windows Phone. #thirdecosystemproblems