The smart speaker war is getting more and more competitive as we are heading towards an AI first cloud first world. Microsoft was a bit late embracing the cloud but slowly it is getting there. Cortana can’t go head to head against Alexa or Google Assistant due to its lack of skills. If we talk about the exact benchmark, Cortana currently has nothing more than 230 skills whereas her new friend Alexa has as much as 2500 skills. But where Cortana really shines is its integration with Office products and managing calendars, meeting, etc.
A new partnership between Alexa and Cortana, plant a seed in the peoples’ mind that Microsoft is done with Cortana. To everyone’s surprise, Microsoft is making all the efforts to expand the reach of Cortana in much more populated smart home speaker business.
Microsoft recently announced a new partnership with a bunch of new smart home speaker OEMs. Besides of Harmon Kardon, now Microsoft has ecobee, Honeywell Lyric, Honeywell Total Connect Comfort, LIFX, TP-Link Kasa, and Geeni to help Cortana to reach out to more people in today’s pervasive AI world.
Cortana is also getting IFTTT support. Those who are new to the term, IFTTT stands for “If This Then That” which will create simple conditional statements. It will automatically get activated when changes occur in various web services such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
In simple words, Cortana will handle social media with ease. You will be able to tweet, post on Facebook by using certain commands. Cortana will now respond to more and more phrases for a certain function. All these changes are being implemented within Cortana on all platforms including Harmon Kardon.