New Features Coming to Cortana Later This Year
While Cortana may not be the personal assistant Microsoft imagined a few years ago, the truth is that the AI personality has found a home inside of Microsoft 365. The digital assistant has found its niche and at Ignite 2020, the company announced new features coming to Cortana.
Cortana touches many parts of Microsoft 365 and at Ignite, Microsoft announced updates for Teams, Outlook, Windows 10 and more:
- Cortana voice assistance is becoming generally available in Microsoft Teams displays, a new category of all-in-one dedicated Teams devices, to offer hands-free experiences to join a meeting, make a call, send chat messages, share files and more. Availability is starting in September in English in the United States and in the coming months in English in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and India. Cortana voice assistance will also be introduced later this year in Microsoft Teams Rooms devices to offer touchless experiences to join and end meetings in shared spaces in English in the United States.
- Your daily briefing email from Cortana is becoming generally available for Microsoft 365 Enterprise users in English starting in September and will get updates in the coming months to streamline meeting preparation, integrate with Microsoft To Do, support planning for the week ahead, and offer specialized insights for people managers seeking to strengthen connections with their team.
- Play My Emails, the Outlook mobile experience that lets you listen and respond to what’s new in your inbox hands-free using Cortana, will start rolling out in the coming months in English in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and India. The feature is already available in Outlook for iOS and Android in English in the United States. With updates this month to Outlook for iOS in English in the United States, users can interact with their inbox while their phone is in their pocket, initiate a call with the sender of an email to move the conversation forward in real-time, play emails from a specific person, time or topic, and connect multiple eligible accounts to the experience.
- Cortana in Windows 10, the chat-based app that helps you save time finding what you need and stay on track, is receiving a series of updates starting in September to support searching for documents and composing quick emails in English in the United States. In addition, the app can now be invoked hands-free using the wake word in English in the United States and the United Kingdom. Updates are coming early next year to streamline meeting preparation.
For the foreseeable future, Cortana will continue to be the queen of the bots and be the showcase of what is possible using the bot stack that Microsoft has created as well as the data that can be tapped using the Microsoft Graph.