01 July 2019
Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant won't challenge Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant in the smart speaker game, says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. The company plans that it plans to spend its life as an app or skill within bigger ecosystems.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says that the company sees Cortana as a voice assistant expert, operating within elements such as Office, Windows and Xbox.
“Cortana needs to be that skill for anybody who’s a Microsoft 365 subscriber” Nadella said. He referenced to the Microsoft’s new consumer subscription push. “You should be able to use it on Google Assistant, you should be able to use it on Alexa, just like how you use our apps on Android and iOS so that’s at least how we want to think about where it’ll go.”
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant have seen a much higher adoption rate, which means that Cortana’s slow progress has already lost the race for consumers. But AI and voice control are still an emerging technology, and with the wide range of Microsoft products used by consumer and business worlds so Cortana has a huge chance for being useful. There are 500 million active Windows, Office and Xbox users, which is a huge market for Cortana. Microsoft has been using the same policy as Xbox uses Alexa and the partnership between Alexa and Microsoft to have Cortana running on Echo speakers – and Alexa on Windows 10 devices.
“We are very mindful of the categories we enter where we can do something unique. A good one is speakers. To me the challenge is, exactly what would we be able to do in that category that is going to be unique?,” said Nadella.