Google Now has been the preserve of Google’s mobile operating system, Android, since it first launched back in 2012. It has largely been unchallenged in its role as a personal assistant. It will set the alarm clock for you, it will update your calendar and reminders, it will promptly inform you before leaving the house that the route you’re going to take has heavy traffic and suggest an alternative route for you. Starting later this year, it will scan your texts and put everything of interest it finds into its proper context. With the exception of Hound which has wowed us with those demos we’ve seen so far. There’s nothing close to the Google Now experience. That is where Microsoft comes in.
Cortana, the company’s digital personal assistant that has been available on Windows Phone devices is coming to Android when Windows 10 ships at the end of July so as to act as a companion to its sibling that will be found on the desktop machines running the new operating system.
Cortana will also be available on Microsoft’s gaming console (it is more than that these days), the Xbox One. Gamers will be able to use voice commands to invite fellow gamers to multi-player games, to record and share clips of their gameplay and even provide information about upcoming games like release dates.
Cortana will also be available on iOS as Microsoft looks forward to connecting users across all platforms. Microsoft doesn’t clarify which countries Cortana on other platforms will be available in at first but they’ll be a select few with more being added as time goes by.