Microsoft’s voice assistant Cortana has been available for the longest time in the US only and users had to change regional and language settings to US to get to use it. You get somewhere, but this experience is not local and is minus a lot of local data.
Microsoft started roll-out with UK and China getting dibs on the new roll-outs. Now the company announces that if you live in these countries; France, Germany, Italy or Spain you can download the personal assistant on alpha mode as Microsoft finalizes on the functions.
What it means by alpha is that there is several things that are missing as far as data is concerned, for example there is no flight tracking, transit data is limited to larger cities and reference regional data like “how tall Mt. Everest is” is still work in progress.
On the brighter side, there is information on European football without necessarily calling it soccer with data on Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and La Liga. The personal assistant will also figure out local jokes and conversational context of the regions.
Cortana will serve you location-based reminders, local weather, news, calendar reminders and people-based reminders so you can get reminded about something when a certain individual calls you.
Availability of Cortana will be through the Windows Developer Preview Program, something essentially meant to get the community that is keen on helping get things right by user contribution before it hits the average user. Things that will need work include speech recognition inprovement, improve personal understanding and add to Cortana’s intelligence thus making it get more personal context.