Microsoft is Working on a Non-Cortana Voice Assistant for Windows 10X
Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10X operating system will include a voice control feature, based on a job posting spotted by Somagnews. The voice control does not seem to be related to Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant, which has been shifting its focus away from consumer goods and more towards enterprise clients.
Windows 10X is the name of Microsoft’s planned mobile operating system. The idea is that it will offer an alternative to Android and iOS devices. The voice control element would extend its reach from tablets and other mobile devices. Windows 10X is supposed to perform differently depending on what device it is on. The voice control is pitched more as an accessibility tool for people with disabilities. According to the job ad, Microsoft wants a software engineer in India to work with the accessibility development team to create a “superior voice control experience.” The goal for the engineer is to design how the voice commands work and what they should control.
Cortana for Business
The need for a voice control system in Windows 10X makes sense, as does the fact that it’s not Cortana. Cortana is now much more of a business and enterprise-focused tool. The launch of the Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise sped up the change toward enterprise. Cortana will also be a vital part of the new Surface Earbuds, which are expected to arrive in the spring. The earbuds cost $250, more than many competitors, but offer direct compatibility with Office 365 via Cortana.
Microsoft has already ended support for the Cortana app for Android and iOS everywhere except the U.S., where its usefulness for experimentation and support for the Surface Headphones is keeping it alive. Instead, Cortana is integrating into business and productivity apps as a part of Office 365. Cortana is now part of the Outlook app, for example. The place of voice in Microsoft’s future consumer products will be filled by others, except perhaps when it comes to helping those with disabilities use Windows 10X.