It is now commonplace to see virtual assistants created in order to help consumers navigate their devices more efficiently. Whether it be Siri or simply saying “Hey Google”, this technology is becoming more and more integrated in our daily lives.
I’m sure that many people are familiar with Microsoft’s very young take on this idea: Cortana (named after the character from Bungie’s famous Halo series). Having been available for use for 3 years now, Microsoft seems to be trying to change and alter their device in order to make it more accessible and enjoyable to use.
According to a recent report by Windows Central, Microsoft “is working on a brand new UI for Cortana that will introduce a similar conversational UI that’s found in Google’s Assistant app on Android.” Despite this claim, there have been no official confirmations as of yet.
Windows Central goes further into description of the new UI by quoting a report from Thurrott, saying that it “appears to confirm similar hearings, with additional info which claims Microsoft may in fact be moving Cortana into the System Tray rather than next to the Start button. This move makes sense if Microsoft is bringing a conversational UI to the assistant, as the “search” bar would no longer make sense for an Assistant that uses a chat-based design.” It seems that the new intelligent design of the assistant will make speaking to Cortana quite a bit easier and more integrated into the system when compared with the current UI.
A key difference between Cortana and Google Assistant is Google Assistant’s ability to conduct a fully text based conversation with the user, where as Cortana currently requires speech in order to communicate. However, it’s looking like Microsoft has shown interest in bringing such advancements to Cortana and Windows users through a new interface.
Currently, users are able to access Cortana on Windows, and is available for free download on Android and iOS.