Cortana, the virtual voice assistant created by Microsoft for Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox One, Microsoft Band, Android, iOS and Harman Kardon smart speaker is slowly increasing the number of skills it can support.
As of December 2017, Microsoft’s Cortana has 230 Skills, up from 174 in October. While on the other hand, Amazon’s Alexa has over 25,000 Skills. As you can see Cortana is lagging far behind Amazon’s Alexa, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Microsoft loses the digital speaker war, as it happened with company’s mobile business.
Cortana having only 230 Skills isn’t surprising since Microsoft’s Cortana Skills Kit arrived late, Microsoft announced the Cortana Devices SDK as an opportunity for developers to create Cortana features that would work across devices like Windows 10, Android, and iOS.
“Your Cortana skills will work out of the box with all kinds of products built on the Cortana Devices SDK – from car to home, big screen to no screen, including a new Harman device in 2017,” Microsoft says.
Microsoft is however serious about its digital assistant, the company recently signed a partnership with Cheetah Mobile to integrate digital assistant Cortana into its Android App Launcher.
“The integration of Cortana and CM Launcher allows more mobile users access to Cortana to help them get things done wherever they are. This represents just the first step in our partnership with Cheetah Mobile, as we hope to integrate Cortana into additional apps and launchers in the future,” said Jordi Ribas, corporate vice president of AI Products at Microsoft.