Cortana has been facing some serious competition in the AI market simply because it lacks skills compared to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. However, Microsoft recently announced that it has added support for Adaptive Cards to Cortana’s skills kit.

Adaptive Cards were first announced by Microsoft at the Build Conference in 2017. It was aimed at Bot Developers. Cortana can now show these cards in various apps and websites with its design choices. As noted by Microsoft, Adaptive Cards allows users to interact with a card-based UI.

The cards accept information in the form of dates, numbers, toggle on-off switches or any other input demanded by the specific application. This design choice of Microsoft was expected since they implemented a card-based UI in the Action Centre.

Some of the benefits of Adaptive Cards highlighted by Microsoft for developers are:-

  • Interactive input controls: There is no support for providing input in existing card formats, which doesn’t satisfy users. However, with Adaptive cards, you have the option to add input controls for text, date, number, time, toggle switch, and choice set.
  • Customizable text: Until now, the existing cards have not provided any customization to the text. Text in existing cards is limited to title, subtitle, and fixed text formats. However, with adaptive cards, users can customize the text according to the card’s context with various font sizes, weights, and colours.
  • One universal card language: The users can use their existing cards and extend them with more interactive controls using one common language.
Adaptive Card samples rendered in Cortana.
Adaptive Card samples rendered in Cortana.

As shown in the screenshot above, created by Windows Latest, it is interesting to see new features coming to Cortana.

Still, because of its low adoption and limited number of skills, Microsoft has trouble convincing developers to add new skills to Cortana.

Amazon Alexa was late to the market, yet it has 2500 skills, whereas Microsoft’s Cortana has a meagre 250 skills. Microsoft has a lot of work to do to compete with the likes of Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and even Apple’s Siri.

Microsoft’s annual Build Conference will be held on May 7th, 2018, and we can expect to see more information about Microsoft’s plan for Cortana and Windows 10 as a whole.

About The Author

Abhijith M B

Abhijith was a former contributing editor for Windows Latest. At Windows Latest, he has written on numerous topics, ranging from Windows to Microsoft Edge. Abhijith holds a degree in Bachelor's of Technology, with a strong focus on Electronics and Communications Engineering. His passion for Windows is evident in his journalism journey, including his articles that decoded complex PowerShell scripts.