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Watch the full response as to why Microsoft is considering Cortana for iOS and Android

Earlier today it was reported that Marcus Ash, group program manager for Cortana on Windows Phone, was weighing the pros and cons of bringing Cortana to other platforms. The decision to do so is perhaps a lot more complicated than diehard Windows Phone fans would think when all factors get taken into account.

Now, a video of Ash's full response to the question of whether or not Cortana should stay on Windows Phone has been posted. In context, the question and answer is certainly a lot more complicated than one may think as there are benefits with either choice.

Although no firm answer is given, due to the ongoing deliberations by Microsoft, it's fascinating to hear their concerns as to why Cortana by being isolated to one platform could hurt the personal assistant. At one point Ash ponders what happens when Cortana jumps from Windows Phone to Windows 8:

"If I'm a Windows PC user and I have a Kindle tablet and an Android phone, how good is the Windows Cortana experience going to be if it doesn't know anything about what I'm doing with those devices? It's really a difficult question that we're spending a lot of time trying to figure out."

"Clearly we want people to buy Windows, we have a bunch of Windows customers, hundreds of millions that have Windows PCs and would love for them to have a great Cortana experience because once they have that they will probably consider other devices and say 'Well, I want to match them up.' But how do we get Android users or these other iOS users that use Windows to have a great experience?"

Indeed, the problem Microsoft is struggling with is they are not selling just one device and service, but instead, many. That fragmentation makes it harder to shutout potential customers due to company hubris, and while Microsoft could take such a path, the Cortana experience itself could be degraded for non-Windows Phone users. Smartphones, after all, do provide a plethora of personal information about a user that a PC cannot.

It's not a trivial challenge and while it's easy to choose one side, it's only after looking at the full picture does the question go from black and white to grey.

Does the full response of Marcus Ash make you reconsider your original opinion on the matter? What do you think Microsoft should do?

Source: Mark Guim, Twitter

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Comments

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iggypop120 says:

Is it even coming to windows 8?

Why wouldn't it? Of course it is. And Xbox One.

PeterFnet says:

Can you elaborate? How would this happen? 8.1 better supported local searching, there has been little steering towards cortana/intelligent searching.

It should be more than obvious (and no big secret) that Microsoft is putting Cortana everywhere they can. Why wouldn't they? Xbox One, Windows 8 and Windows Phone. The service is all cloud based for a reason. There's no reason why it can't be custom tailored.

Torch4x4 says:

I agree, Cortana everywhere is better for their development, with more users will grow faster and with more features, I like the idea, the only problem will be if they update Cortana with new and better features in other platforms first...

smoheath says:

This is true. In addition to this, I assume that Cortana learns from people's queries. So on the back end, Cortana will keep improving just by having more people use it. It will improve in understanding accents and slang, as well as understanding the context of questions and follow-up queries. I think it would be good for Microsoft as a whole, but a sad day for windows phone if Cortana goes multi-platform.

Cortana being US-only is the single reason for  it to have little to no user base. If Microsoft wants to popularize it, release to other countries, where Windows Phone is more popular then the iPhone.
We are almost in a state where Windows platforms are the worst place to use MS services...

Apple don't care if you want to use other devices and keep the experience, you have to buy their devices, period.

The reason for us only is that Cortana is in beta mode and it's only available in preview version so it's not about popularity. It's kind of beta testing with the users outside of the company

Dan_ATX says:

Cortana is US only because it's in beta. They have to work out the bigger issues and tweaks before spending time to localize it. That said they are working on bringing it to some other countries at the moment.

mrshots says:

While the ratio is lower, there are more people in the us that use wp Tha others... (lets say 30000 wp in someplace and 20000 iphone, in us 100000 wp 300000 iphone) btw figures not accurate

Dare2Blink says:

Cortana everywhere might be better for their development but at a huge cost of loosing an important differentiating factor that windows phones have. I hope Microsoft does not make this huge mistake. They need a foothold in the smartphone market desperately and should use all advantages they can. They already made the mistake of putting office on other mobile OS's. Besides, when Cortana is on windows PC and tablets, they will immediately get a huge database of people to,use to improve her further, so that excuse is nonsense.

lippidp says:

I agree. Did they forget that their job is to make money? They need to keep their eye on the ball.

Exactly. Just look at Skype. Cortana could end up being one more reason people DON'T buy a Windows Phone. If MS wants WP to actually sell, they need to stop giving away all their exclusive features and push the unified ecosystem. I definitely think Cortana should be aware of what's happening on those other devices, but she should only be available on Windows devices.

BlackGoku says:

Yup you maybe right but Ash's right in someway.If you don't show support to the majority then they will ignore you.Android and Ios has plethora of apps which is the only gap between them and Ios.Rest Camera Games and Hardware are all on par.But the problem is that people think that WS will not grow because of less apps i.e. less developer support.But if they extend some WP features then people might change their mentality about Windows Platform.But they should not provide all the features of these crucial apps.For example now see Moli Player in WP and Droid-

WP has Wifi Transfer feature and Droid doesn't(though Droid has other apps to do the same maybe Kies Air) but what i'm saying is that they should extend Cortana but not the whole Cortana.If people enjoy the features of Coratana on other Platforms then they will want to switch to WP for the exclusive features of Cortana that only Windows will have.

Your reasoning is flawed the better more useful product will prevail how the hell do you think andoid caught up to IOS???? It wasn't over night

jsnod25 says:

Cortana is maintained and updated on the back end, so no worries having one platform updated before others.

trmnrs says:

But what if they scrap the project? You can't say "of course" they're bringing it to Windows and Xbox if they haven't personally verified it themselves.

smoledman says:

Unnecessary pessimism. Cortana is coming to Windows OS & XBox OS.

toph36 says:

They are not scrapping Cortana.

Dean Lewis says:

Or.... custom "Taylored" ;)

dasfoto says:

Well done, Dean Lewis!!!

salazka says:

It is absurd to consider that Cortana wouldn't come to Windows 8.x.  It should be there already. What makes me worry about WP's future though, is that Windows 8.x is considered by Microsoft a different platform.

(I do not mean technically, but philosophically speaking) 
 

As for whether Cortana should be on iOS and Android... i am not sure i agree with this strategy. This would empower further iOS and Android and offer absolutely nothing to Windows Phone. Cortana is not the same case as MS Office. Their dilemma is a false one and i think if they move towards this one, expect the press to trounce them all over internet claiming they admitted defeat and they are abandoning their mobile OS.

The hubs were a differentiating factor for WP. They were removed. Apple hired the lead Camera tech guy of Nokia. MS Office is everywhere now. If Cortana which is the only reason why anyone would buy WP today is shared with all other platforms, give me one good reason why anyone should buy a WP phone instead of iOS or Android.

 

Dr Love PhD says:

I like most of what salzeka says. Anything Windows, fine. Ios and Android already have their Siri and Google now, so let them carry on with those gimps.

nmercy says:

It's not absurd as most likely, like the enhanced start menu, they'll save Cortana to be a Windows 9.x and use it as a reason for 8.x users to upgrade next year.

HotJava says:

Cortana in it's current state is not a reason why a person would switch from iOS/Android to WP. Frankly, I can't imagine what the experience would have to be to cause a material amount of users to switch. Google Now and Siri are amazing in their own right so the only way others are going to experience Cortana is to make it available on other platforms.
I believe that the largest opportunity for Microsoft to grow at the moment is within the emerging markets. The strategy of making its services available on other mobile platforms is the only viable strategy left to attract users in mature or saturated markets. I say this because in cases like the US, the battle has been lost and there is no catching up beyond incremental changes each year. It is such an emotional decision to switch smartphone OSes. One way to alleviate the trepidation is to already be comfortable with the services like Cortana, Office, OneNote, OneDrive, Skype, Lync, Xbox smartglass etc. Making the switch becomes that much easier when u know that your core favorite apps are coming with you.

salazka says:

Nobody who has a phone that is happy with is going to drop it just because of one feature. You can get used to Cortana on your Windows 8.x etc. The idea is to make Windows Phone the next choice for a number of reasons. And these reasons as of WP 8.1 i am sorry to say got less not more.

MS jumped the gun and made concessions they shouldn't have. Their plan was working albeit very slow due to device turnover rates. There is absolutely no way to make it happen faster by becoming more like your competitors. By doing that, you lose all the difference you were making and you might as well make your own version of Android, skin it, and get over with it. They had exactly the amount of difference they needed, and with the additions they made in 8.1 (cortana, fancy screen, optimizations, notifications etc.) they could have been exactly what was needed. But not after removing and otherwise greatly altering main features of the platform.

You will never make a move if you already have the features they are offering to you. :) When what they are offering to you is no more an alternative, but a mere variation with an additional learning curve.

JoRdaNeK says:

Custom....Jen Taylored?

Dean McCrae says:

And for the same reasons should work fine on any platform, ios, Droid, whatever.

Novron says:

Do you want Skynet? Because, this is how you get Skynet.

wpintrigue says:

A service like Cortana doesn't have an option to reside entirely on the client. Too feeble and devoid of the context required for it to mature. ( or learn in the AI sense )

chrgeorgeson says:

Not sure if I agree with you fully Dan.

I agree Cortana will come to Windows 9 but not Windows 8 due to the tarnished reputation of the OS.

In April 2015 a new start menu, a more refined metro experience, a touch friendly version of Office and Cortana could help the next version of Windows have a Windows 7 reputation.

Just my opinion based off of some articles/podcasts I frequent.

I should clarify that by '8' I mean Windows in general. And to be honest, I'm not sure it will even be called Windows 9. But yes, my guess is more along the lines of Threshold than a current update this year.

RAWAD_K says:

Microsoft please remember that there is no official YouTube application on WP, and you just give them the most unique and wonderful feature on Windows phone. What's wrong with you?

"and you just give them the most unique and wonderful feature on Windows phone"

I really think you're overplaying the "unique" thing a big. Siri and Google Now are not exactly poorly received services on their respective platforms. Yes, Cortana has personality. It also has much less market share and is not a powerful as Google Now. Not yet. But Microsoft shouldn't overplay their hand on this one.

He's not wrong. Cortana is really unique as compared to Siri and Google Now. You already know about everything Cortana can do but Google now and Siri can't (even in beta). Hardly i can think of any such thing that Google now/ Siri can do over Cortana.

"and is not a powerful as Google Now"

I'm not sure what exactly you emphasize while saying powerful but Google now is worse. Only thing better in it is that it can recognize voice faster than Cortana but then Cortana operates the command faster so makes a tie. Talking of features, Cortana has more to offer. I've Google now in my Android phone and used it a lot, more than Cortana and i can say is not even close to Cortana.

Editguy1900 says:

Assuming Cortana is the best, how would iOs an Android users ever know if it's not available to them? Also, since Cortana is powered by Bing, wouldn't this increase revenue for MS? I think it's something that MS has to seriously consider.

Bananji says:

They would know if Microsoft would finally achieve better advertisements.

@Bananji
LOL! Good marketing expecting from Microsoft? It's been always a let down from Microsoft...

immyperez says:

You are right on that...99% of Microsoft ads make me cringe! The best one was that original xbox one where the baby gets launched into the air and grows older until it hits the grave, lol!

@Editguy1900
Alright, I ask you what if they even come to know Cortana is better? Will they buy a WP next? No. Why should they ? .... when they get every amazing feature that WP has to offer?

I'm not sure if Cortana will still be powered by Bing if its ever ported to Android. Google won't accept it, simple.

And I think its a really, really bad idea considering current status of WP and future of WP development. Its beneficial for Microsoft though.
Sorry for talking about WP and Microsoft separately. But MS is behaving as if WP is not their creation lately.

You're still being short sighted, Microsoft made a killer feature with this iteration of WP, because they're having to compete, this isn't an original feature. It's a feature that is on other devices but executed well, you know, the same way Apple built up their reputation. What's stopping them adding another killer feature with the next big update to the Phone OS? We've already heard about their plans for Kinect and 3D touch.

They are playing the long game, as stated in the video, it's not just about what will sell phones now, putting Cortana on other platforms is the way forward for MS, data is how the big companies compete, like it or not, with Cortana comes troves of data, with Cortana on other platforms that grows exponetially. Just look at Google, if you don't realise that Android was about keeping search with Google and therefore keeping the data and revenue then you are misguided.

"the same way Apple built up their reputation. "

 How? By giving Siri to other platforms?

" We've already heard about their plans for Kinect and 3D touch."

Fine, that's really a plus for WP. But how's porting Cortana to iOS / Android changes people's mentality to choose WP over those?

They'll, in contradiction, and most probably remain intact with their devices. They'll keep believing MS would continue provide features that WP originally had to them in future (even that's what they're still doing now).

"putting Cortana on other platforms is the way forward for MS"

 Agree, Microsoft may move forward (if they allowed Cortana to use Bing) but for WP, its a one step backward.

"Just look at Google, if you don't realise that Android was about keeping search with Google and therefore keeping the data and revenue then you are misguided."

Not sure what you exactly mean by this. 

You're incorrect on this one. Cortana's data is locally stored only. MS was very clear on that.

salazka says:

Cortana can't be used offline.

Tamer81 says:

I would say release it on iOS (since they already use Bing) but NOT on Android as they aren't releasing the official YouTube app on windows phone, OR release them not on either of these platforms. If Microsoft wants people to adopt windows phone then it should keep Cortana for WP only. If you want people using Windows 8 AND an iPhone or Android device to get to know Cortana and to make them feel the full Cortana experience then release it on Windows 8 so they can switch their mobiles to WP or else they will never do so.

What about us? How do we know Cortana is the best if we don't get Siri and GNow on WP? It has to be both ways for it to make any sense

Achike Da says:

I actually agree with you. I have used Google now extensively and would still pick Cortana's functionality over it. But then again, if MSFT's cortana can move to other platforms and perform exceptionally well, by integrating user's experiences across their multiple devices, then the platform (WP & WIN8) in general will regain that cool techy'ness that draws people to an OS. Imagine if Cortana on ur iPhone pops up to tell you that gamer XXX whom you raced against on your Xbox one is in the same café with you..

NHUK says:

I had an iPhone previously and Siri was so flaky I turned it off. A real shame but it added no value and was just a frustration. Now I have the frustration of not having Cortana because I don't live in the US, but I can see that being a real asset rather than the gimmick it is in the iPhone. Android I can't comment on having never had such a phone.

Region change trick can give you Cortana right now

J88NY R says:

I disagree, everyone seems impressed with Cortana and it is a USP for WP.

Bringing it to other platforms is stupid, the only reason would to get people to use it, like it and hope they switch.

But if they can already use it they wont switch, just keep it in house, put it on Windows and Xbox, enough people use those devices to get a feel for it and that will help with adoption to WP.

jsantana0793 says:

Dan, why shouldn't Microsoft overplay Cortana. That's what Apple and Google do with just about everything new they come up with. Apple overplayed Siri. I know many iPhone owners and I barley ever see any of them use Siri, Google now even less. I have coworkers that didn't even know there was a Google now, and these are Galaxy owners. Cortana is unique in its own right. What make her unique is her affiliations to Halo. She is a well know character for the past 14 years. Cortana is iconic. The fact that we get the chance to converse with her is very unique. She sounds natural at best, she gets to know you, she is more than just a personal assistant and she has a well known name. So tell me again why Microsoft shouldn't overplay Cortana? In my opinion, Microsoft should keep her where she belongs, part of the Windows ecosystem and no where else. Microsoft needs to push harder and stop trying to connect non Windows users. I understand smartglass, but there needs to be only on Windows apps, services and products. Google was blunt about YouTube on Windows phone. Apple never shares its apps or programs. Microsoft needs to do the same. You want Cortana, get a Windows Phone.

toraji says:

good initiative, I agree with you for now. Let Cortana grow on W8 devices first, going cross platform is always possible at a later stage
regards
toraji

I don't know if someone has asked this (sorry I couldn't read all 800+ comments) but, will Google and Apple even allow cortana, since it competes directly with siri/G.Now?

Achike Da says:

Good point. I don't think it will even be allowed on other OSs just because of the intrusive nature of these voice assistants. The programs need Access to nearly everything on your phone, emails and all

igadget says:

I'm actually shocked and surprised by all of this. I read some of these comments first before I had a chance to watch the video and by the vibe of the commenters, it is a fairly negative reaction. After watching the video, which I entered into with a bias due to those comments, I find myself actually considering the idea. He stated it very well. Here is our priority. Windows first. If Cortana is MY Digital assistant,I want her to help me with every facet of my life. I just happen to own all things windows so its not really gonna affect me, but he's right. For those people who have other devices, how does she know about what you do on those devices of she's not on those devices to watch? I don't have an answer to that. Cortana is not just a digital phone assistant, but she is going to be MY digital assistant ( or my moms who owns an iPhone) if that means expanding Cortana to other OS's if they want a real digital assistant, then I'm leaning towards that. Perhaps the resolution to this is Cortana is free with a Microsoft OS, i.e. Windows phone, windows and Xbox ... But subscription based for other OS's. That might quell the masses. Either way, Microsoft, keep should what your doing. I love the ecosystem. I love the monthly os updates to the Xbox one and to windows phone 8.1 and i hope it continues even after at&t releases their official update to the 920.

It will take time for microsoft to make Cortana release to their OSes first, then it will come to other platforms.

toraji says:

Daniel,

 

On seekingalpha.com a contributor placed an article about this issue a few hours ago, you might find it interesting:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/2268873-should-microsoft-cortana-be-a-part-of-apple-and-android-ecosystem?uprof=45

regards

t

 

 

Yangstax says:

It is true that Cortana on WP has small market share now.  But not when it comes to W8 and Xbox one.  It will become a dominant voice personal assistance instantly.  It would definitely help to sell WP and W8 devices.  Providing Cortana to the competitor machines is a suicidal move which will hurt entire Windows ecosystem short term and long term.  It is a 'Surrender it All' move.  MS won't get any financial gains by providing Cortana to the competitor OS devices.  It is a feature and not a service.  Cortana is potentially a critical game changer for WP which is so far behind on apps.  Uinique features like Cortana and PureView are so important to attract phone buyers.  Now competitors are starting to catch up on camera tech and Cortana becomes even more important to keep WP going.  Strangely, MS now is talking about surrendering that to competitors before they release Cortana on WP.  It is crazy.  If MS is so concerned about fragmentation, they should then port Cortana to evey devices on earth including Playstations, firefox, Blackberries and even the Nokia feature phones. 

MS should first make the Cortana work properly on WP and make it available to all languages.  Otherwise, it could hurt themselves bad by loosing the WP base.  WP is in its infancy stage.  It is fragile and weak.  The app gap is so huge that it will probably never to catch up the competitors.  We hard core of WP supporters will eventually to realize it is probably not worth it.  Above all, it is just a phone and not a religion.  If we can find a phone that has all the nice features like Cortana elsewhere, ocean of apps and wide industry support.  May be that's the phone we should get.  It donesn't have to be a WP phone.

tanayprasad says:

Cortana is the most "unique" feature on "Windows Phone". Making it available for other platforms is like improving them further (which are already ahead of windows phone in terms of features and functionality). People weighing the pros and cons of windows phone with other platforms, will see that they already have this available for them. Another loss for windows phone. Unless, on other platforms it is watered down version just to show the capabilities of Cortana and not giving away all the features. I agree that that it seems good for the neural network to improve, but i think you too would agree that the uniqueness of windows phone will be lost, to be soon followed with windows phone. I have full faith in windows phone, and I have been supporter of it since windows phone 7.5. But some things should be exclusive to Windows phone.

Dean Lewis says:

Funny thing is... while Google ignore us their one and only app has some "Google Now" features and voice recognition using Google's servers.

Google Now doesn't exactly have a hardware button on Android devices, it's just another app. If it's just another app then they could just as easily use Cortana.

It's not just another app on Android phones. It works like an app on iOS, but it's functionality is much weaker and not worth using imo.

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

palmujukka says:

Please remember that Microsoft is not necessarily reading these comments.

dasfoto says:

And when you discuss politics at the local tavern, your representatives don't hear you either.

vish2801 says:

Is it coming to windows 8.1 before iOS & Android ?? MS has released and updated its own apps like skype before it updates it on WP. Crap, they're going to release Office Tablet version on android before Windows 8. Why can't they release em 1st on their own product and then on rivals ? I can understand argument about User experience but ignoring own products sends very negative message to its own users and developers. If MS doesn't prioritizes its own platform, why others should ??

blackhawk556 says:

What this person just said!! They're bringing a lot of the advantages windows phone had to other platforms to the point where there really won't be an advantage to opening a Windows phone.

You're so right ... Ms sucks if they go on with this there idea, if they really want to complete the experience, they should a kinda create an app that can sync with Android phone or IOS or other platforms then relay those information it gathered to the individual's phone, then they won't be any need taking to other platforms apart from windows

The individual's phone i.e. a windows phone

Can't disagree with you. I'm a developer and i personally feel to move to Android with almost every new announcement Microsoft makes.

If you move to Android and continue to use Microsoft services, Microsoft still wins.

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

I won't use MS services if I move to Google. Google has much more to offer already. I've started feeling its too much a pain to support Microsoft. Why should i care for MS if they don't care about their own customers? There are tons of reasons why developers ignore this platform. And MS is helping grow such reasons even more by now.

I know quality VS quantity. And Microsoft isn't going to win anytime soon.

MS wins but us WP users lose because the platform doesn't grow and we remain second class citizens in terms of the app gap.

Personally I agree. Make it a USP for Windows phone and wearables.

For me though, a key question is whether Apple or Google have the wherewithal to develop something similar. Remember how much r&d went into this, it wouldn't be easy.

Perhaps they should do like Office... Indicate it is coming to IOS and Android, bit sit on it for years, whilst making it amazing on Windows Phone. That way it puts off Apple and Google from trying to develop something similar.

Dean McCrae says:

Well, first they need to release it on WP. Having it US only (or US + 2 countries) is just the short sightedness that makes WP struggle so much. Sometimes I think Microsoft want to fail, it can't be accidental.

A7500 says:

If it is coming to windows 8 and Xbox what percentage of growth is it for Cortana in just a few hours? So there you have an unbeatable user base. Then why go for iOS and Android? Boeing doesn't give their wings to others as a goodwill or otherwise to see all aircraft use their fuel ⛽ efficient wings!

dasfoto says:

That's like saying Nokia making Here+ maps available to other platforms is akin to giving away thier 41 megapixel camera technology. Comparing software and services to hardware makes no sense.

Breaking News: Microsoft announces live tiles for iOS and Android, and Halo 5 for PS4.

Wael Hasno says:

Easy now.. I'm trying to have a quiet sleep here.

ZackTheNever says:

I promise Microsoft, if you do this, im never coming back...

James8561 says:

And also extra Bing rewards points for searches on iOS and Android tablets! Windows tablets coming soon in 6 months.

iOS and Android: eh. back to Google. WP user: wow i'm getting an ipad instead of surface next.

Jas00555 says:

I'd rather wait for a native experience as opposed to a half-assed, but sooner experience.

This is what i was going to say!
Just launch live tiles and here i come Google!

Dean McCrae says:

Are they also live tiles that don't update properly as with WP? ;-)

EcDumB says:

So I embraced WP because of Nokia. But this is too much. I'm going back to Android until Nokia is free again.. :(

Kaymd says:

Please Dan, do not mind the excessive emotions here! It amazes me how people even fail to address the original argument placed and just go around screaming like little kids! Let's even take another look at this situation by considering the example of the Google Chrome browser. I believe we can safely argue that chrome rose to popularity on the back of the Windows desktop, way before the spread of Android. Do we think that Google should maybe have waited for chrome OS and simply restricted their browser to it? Today, if you are a Windows and Android user, the chrome browser allows you to do pretty much what IE allows you to do between WP, RT and the Windows desktop (in fact I think Chrome delivered this ahead of IE). In retrospect, from Google's point of view, it was good that the chrome browser was already mature on Windows before Android gained serious critical mass - it simply encouraged Windows desktop users to further maintain a Windows/Android hybrid ecosystem. The fact is you go where your customers are -- we are playing to win here and that means leveraging whatever advantages you have for victory. Personally I like the thought process these Cortana guys have, it reflects forward thinking and a maturity that I think will bring success. This is the technology game today - you isolate yourself at your own risk!

Marco Gomes1 says:

Chrome became so popular because internet explorer sucked huge balls (and in my opinion still does). Also, if Cortana actually comes to windows 8 or 9 or whatever and to Xbox, in more countries than just the US that's at lest a billion users.
Having said that and since this is probably my last Windows phone for the foreseeable future they can do whatever the duck they want.

^THIS!!
@Kaymd: Talking of chrome browser, let me remind you we still don't have any such thing in WP store yet. Only in Windows, that too to promote Google's own services.

Kaymd says:

My point here is the fact that chrome rode on the Windows desktop, even in the presence of existing IE and Firefox to gain significant prominence. That is excellent strategy! They pretty much exploited the market penetration of Windows on the desktop. Why I point this out is the fact that sometimes to reach your target audience, you must leverage what they already use - in this case its Android and iOS. If the Cortana team is confident they can deliver unique and impressive results even in the presence of Now and Siri, and maybe even surpass both, then I think they should go for it. It's all about placing hooks into users' habits and the tools they rely on daily.

I agree with your idea. It can certainly help Microsoft but hows it going to help Windows Phone, the platform from where Cortana was ported?

greedypnguin says:

Microsoft should give them a limited experience. And do it so that when it reaches a certain number of downloads, it is removed. Call it a beta test. People who use it will like it. People who can't use it get jealous. Then buy a Windows phone. Also remove the beta test after a few months. Make it Ios and WP only

carlosrdd says:

This is really sad I mean I can understand why and all but why would anyone pick a WP when it's best features and going one by one to other platforms....

blackhawk556 says:

Exactly! Plus these other platforms have all the apps. The only reason to have a Windows Phone is to have the tile interface.

You guys were into WP before Cortana even was announced, and if Cortana is available on other platforms, you'll still be able to use it! It doesn't somehow make your phone less valuable!

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

Marco Gomes1 says:

That is correct, but it sure as hell won't be attracting many new users. Why should anyone chose WP over IOS or android if they can have everything on WP, plus everything on IOS or android?

Theory of relativity you know? It does make it less valuable and less appealing.

nmercy says:

It doesn't diminish the value of the phone itself, but it does diminish the value of the ecosystem. If people can get all the benefits of WP on a different platform, then why should they bother to switch to WP. If people aren't going to switch to WP, the ecosystem continues to be treated as a third rate ecosystem getting whatever bones are thrown to it... and without growth, those bones may stop coming.

"If people can get all the benefits of WP on a different platform, then why should they bother to switch to WP"

The only arguement for which people have taken the entire comment section with more puzzled answers. 

Idiotic statement of the year award goes to....you

BlackGoku says:

Damn right you are.I'm only on windows because of Nokia. Though MS has put in a hard work still this is certainly crossing the line after what Google has done to us. Still no proper official Gmail and YouTube app.And of Cortana is kept unique then the WP users will shoot sky high. Damn MS.

MatchAttax08 says:

Who uses the idiotic Gmail, use outlook instead

Who cares, enjoy your android

ortizang says:

There's nothing special about WP anymore. Going back to Apple.

kullu123 says:

And i can bet that cortana would be much better in android and ios than windows phone

LOL just like Skype and Office! And with early updates.

rollindadice says:

Yeah I actually tried Skype on friends Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 and i was shocked at how great it is,optimize your own fully not on other platforms

Yup, Skype works much much better in my Xperia C than my Windows Phone as well.

In my opinion, this should go on WindowsRT first then, they should apply to the rest of the echo system, also the word flow keyboard should go there first, since the rt is the "tablet version" connecting al the devices with Cortana allowing one to take over the other would be cool, but sending it to other platforms would kill Windows phone, all they need is a good marketing team, and a good incentive for the sales people in places like best buy and target or WalMart, these are the weakest link in the chain, they are the ones who kill the sales, give them incentive and they will drive customers toward WP.

QilleRz says:

I hope so. My opinion is, complete in all Microsoft product first. Then in all region and while completing in other region you can go to other platform. Really hope Microsoft make a wise decision. :/

so when is Nokia gonna bring us something like Samsungs Note, with stylus and everything..... Thats some news id love to hear

Windows 8 is past, Windows 8.1 update 1 is present. And it will come for sure.

Jared Hayes says:

That's so dumb! Why would they do that?! I show people Cortana all the time and they sometimes say "wow! That's cooler then Siri!" Or "I should get a Windows phone!" It's needs to stay exclusive.

Exactly. And now this ash guy giving really horrible reasons to make a port. It'll be a big fail if they ever do. By fail, I mean for windows phone.

EliaJada says:

What happens if they have Cortana on their PC and want to use it on their phones? They go buy a Windows Phone and stop with the Lagdroid and iSheep lifestyle they're living.

Right, but they just thinking to do the very opposite. Hell, was that guy bribed by Google?

Comments like lagdroid and isheep makes you sound like a child. It makes the entire WP community look bad as well.

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

Truth bothers you no?
Android = low end Android, lags as hell. WP doesn't. Only high end Androids work perfectly.
iPhone = Showoff

I think you got iPhone part wrong ,

WP - show off (less popular apps , slow in development and still catching up)

iPhone - dumb phone OS for people who don't focus much on phones

How's WP used for show off?

Why should someone bother a 7k phone to show off when everyone knows the actual price?

I love sheep!! But no iSheep ;)

The amount of Android and iOS users who would abandon their platform to get Cortana is practically zero.

Posted via Windows Phone Central App

No its not.... i showed Cortana to 5 of my friends..Now they are WP users.

WP - Cotana

Android - Google Now (and possibility of Cortana)

iOS - Siri , Google Now (and possibility of Cortana)

 

If Cortana comes to iOS , Your friends probably switch to it.....

The amount of people who know the full featured of what they can get out of their phones is practically 0.0001% the majority of people like IOS because it's super direct and has the least learning curve, and gives them the feeling of "prestige", holding a premium service = I'm elite . the majority of Android users like it because it's cheap, take the s3 for example it costs way less than the 920. And I would like to buy a Windows phone that is less colorful, more serious, call it business edition or something. See how that works.

Cheap? The 1020 is about $400 normally, and I got mine for $100 with my plan.... Plus why go for a "Serious" design that will shatter and crack? My Windows phone LITERALLY HEALS ITSELF... I got 2 dents on it when it fell of my bed while I was sleeping, and that was a few months back, now both dents are not noticeable. Don't ask how but they "Fixed" themselves... Plus the style of Nokia is colorful, but they have black and white (tbh black looks better then a iPhone, that's coming from a Ex Strict iPhone user), while being near unbreakable, won't shatter, and if you do end up breaking it, buy a new only for $100-$400 lol and have it sync all your phone settings and apps from the cloud, even things like text messages. It will be like you never got a new phone l.

My another friend (11th in number who's going to get a WP) just after i showed her Cortana. "Exclusivity" does work.

rollindadice says:

Haha,I think many android users need to experience it,once shown they'll be blown away,some of my friends are WP owners now,not because of just Cortana but other features too

Care to elaborate what's so "blown away" about Cortana ?

MDboyz says:

Don't try to use your own view to make the baseless conclusion.  Many of my friends are also hardcore Halo fans, and they are so excited to wait for next WP flagship with Cornata.  Their current phones are mostly iPhones and a few Androids.

SumairB says:

If this happens, it should be a two-way process. Google should give us some of their services like Plus or Maps or Chrome.

I don't want any of their services, I don't need any of their services, maybe YouTube but also that is insignificant.

Marco Gomes1 says:

Lol. Like Google needs the business from the six WP users.

manwe says:

I dont even understand how this can be under consideration when Cortana is not even out in the UK yet! that's an Enlish speaking country mind you where WP has 10% of the market. What about all the countries with other languages? and they're talking about bringing it to iOS? i think microsoft is making the same mistake of getting ahead of themselves they always do. great ideas; hasty implementation. roll it out to existing costumers, then you can talk about having a good experience across the board, this way it's the equivalent of a fuck you to current wp costumers

Bobvfr says:

100% with you on this, even without Cortana every one I show my 1520 to is impressed, and would consider buying a WP, even my wifes work colleques are impressed by WP on a 520, why give away the thing we are looking forwards to until every WP and 8 user has it at least, and to be honest why give it away at all, if they want to eat cake, they should go and buy cake, or in this case Windows.

 

 

Bob

I still don't understand Microsoft's logic though. All I hear is that they've given up on Windows phones. Instead of convincing others to come to us, Microsoft has decided to go to them. Besides, I doubt most Android and iPhone users, especially fanboys, would even bother with Cortana because they have their own service that does pretty much the same thing. In other words, Microsoft is trying to make Cortana a whore.

Arpit Mittal says:

No only exculsive for microsoft products

And the problem of Cortana being a poor experience for PC users who have Android or and iPhone is....? Let them have a bad experience? Hmmm...

If you're on the Cortana or Windows 8 team, you may have a problem with that decision. I know I would.

It should be a MS exclusive. If you build it they will come

DonBakke says:

Palm tried that worth the Pre and it didn't work.

Cortana has the potential to be a core product on its own in the future.

Making it exclusive to MS products wont make anyone come, android has google now and iphone has Siri.  They are both good products, no one will change platform because of cortana.

We cannot be blind to the point of thinking only about Windows Phone.  Microsoft must think about the future of all its products (Like Office for iPad and Android)

Cortana for iPad and Android could even help xbox sales over PS4 (wich in the future could also help Windows Phone sales for the WP/xbox integration. Cortana would also help BING against Google.

Digital personal assistant is the next search engine war, it is much bigger than a cellphone platform

theefman says:

So Cortana wont help WP sales but it will magically help Xbox sales by being on android and ios, why?

b23h says:

Good job, unpack that contradiction.   I agree with your question.

theeefman I think that's a really poor analogy.

Look at the console space in 2014. Who's the top? Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo (distant third). Microsoft already has, in many ways, the gaming thing locked down. It's there's too lose, not to win. The Windows Phone market space is vastly, vastly different. Microsoft is a distant third.

Xbox can only get better with Cortana and it will aid, slightly, sales. Maybe.

But the real question is how many people own an Xbox One and use Android or iOS? Answer: way more than Windows Phone users.

Should Microsoft shun those users with a poor Cortana experience because they don't use Windows Phone? I'm not sure Cortana is strong enough to float Windows Phone on its own, but considering most Xbox One users don't have a Windows Phone, I'm not sure how keeping it exclusive to WP will help either.

I think you are putting too much emphasis on a "poor experience" on the PC, Dan. Most of what people use Cortana for is for basic stuff: doing searches, setting alarms, getting news they find interesting.

Windows has all the apps necessary to make the experience good enough so everyone knows what it looks like. Then, you can create a very very personalized, very fantastic experience for people who own both a Windows Phone and a Windows PC and put in clues as to what a real Windows ecosystem - including WP - looks like, if you choose to buy a WP phone.

Let's not forget that no desktop OS has ever had a personal assistant. So any personal assistant customized for the desktop is good enough; it entices people. This opportunity should be used to promote the entire ecosystem of Windows, to encourage users to get Windows Phones so the experience can become awesome.

Many see how more advanced Cortana is compared to Siri, and it peaks their interest. People just need a taste of Cortana on their Windows PC's, and they get more inclined to complete the experience using WP. Releasing Cortana for other platforms leads to a great Cortana experience everywhere, but so what? Is Windows, with 90% market share under threat because it doesn't provide a great digital assistant experience? Is Xbox under threat because of this? Or is WP in desparate need of some unique features?!

rollindadice says:

I think the board of directors need to be asked these questions,cause it seems no one asked them these

It's 'theirs' 'to' lose... Sorry, but the death of English has been bothering me lately!

Rene8 says:

Distant third in consoles is not nintendo! They sold mir consoles than ms, so it is Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft....

spinzeroWL says:

Nintendo are a distant third. The Wii U is a flop, and the standard Wii console has been in decline for years.
MS has near 50% of the console software sales market...that's where the money is.

b23h says:

theefman states
"So Cortana wont help WP sales but it will magically help Xbox sales by being on android and ios, why?"

to which Daniel responds
"theeefman I think that's a really poor analogy.

"Look at the console space in 2014. Who's the top? Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo (distant third). Microsoft already has, in many ways, the gaming thing locked down. It's there's too lose, not to win. The Windows Phone market space is vastly, vastly different. Microsoft is a distant third.

Xbox can only get better with Cortana and it will aid, slightly, sales. Maybe."

First, how does this response really suggest that theefman's analogy is wrong?   Daniel states that WP market is "vastly different" than the situation for the Xbox One and points to MS's relative position in each market.   However is this really an answer?   So the position of WP in the market is different from the Xbox One, why does that mean Cortana could be a draw for the Xbox One and not a draw for WP?

It simply does not look like a compelling counter argument.

Plus I really don't think Daniel's statement "Microsoft already has, in many ways, the gaming thing locked down. It's there's too lose, not to win" is as accurate as he hopes.   There's a reason why this years E3 for Microsoft was so strongly geared towards games.   First, 2013's E3 was significantly geared towards the entertainment features of the Xbox One.    Second, Sony emphasized the games and gaming potential of the PS4.   Third, the PS4 has arguable a bit stronger graphics capability.   Fourth, the PS4 has been selling stronger than the Xbox One.

That does not add up to "theirs to to lose, not to win".   MS is in second place here and it would be nice to have the Xbox One in first.   There is room for a stronger win here, not just slipping further behind.

Please note that in my analysis I am not being a PS4 fanboy, it simply is my analysis of the situation.   As soon as I am sufficiently employed and with enough cash one of my first purchases is going to be a Xbox One.

blackhawk556 says:

I agree with you. He makes no sense.

Never said it wont help WP sales.  I said it alone wont make an iPhone user or Android to switch over to WP just because it is slightly better than the competition.

That doesnt mean a new user searching for a smartphone wont take Cortana into the equation when buying a phone.

Still, We have a LOT (and i mean a LOTTTTT) of users that uses Android and Iphones right now and will be searching for a video game in the future.  If you have cortana in your iPhone or your Android, and if you do use it and find it awesome, chances are Cortana will help a decision on whether to buy an XBOX or a PS4.  Thats pretty basic, really...

 

My hunch is many people have not tried Google Now on a regular basis. I get Cortana. I like Cortana. But the notion that it's something groundbreaking, at least at this stage, is certainly off the mark. Unfortunately I think quite a few people here are taken up by the 'wow' factor, despite Android having a similar function for quite some time now. My 2 cents.

theefman says:

I agree, I've never used android and have no desire to, or anything google for that matter. But if as you say cortana is nothing special and google now already does the same thing why does Microsoft want to then port cortana to android? What is the logic behind that?

The logic is, if you're on Android you most likely have a PC where Google Now doesn't work so well. If Microsoft can hook you in on both devices, well, that's one more than Google.

Conversely, if you have a PC but use an iPhone, Cortana on Windows won't be as good since she can't "see" your mobile preferences/habits, resulting in a person not using Cortana anywhere because "it sucks".

blackhawk556 says:

I don't see how you can apply the same thing to Apple with Siri. I'm sure millions of iPhone users use windows PCs and have no problem with it. Plus I bet Apple doesn't mind this. They see no advantage to porting Siri to other platforms.

Sean Cua says:

Actually I have a problem with it since I have an iPad and a Lumia 520. Since reminders in iOS sync on iCloud while on WP it syncs on calendar via live I have to use two calendars instead of one and I don't like it especially since there's a bug when adding a iCloud calendar in WP where in the time is wrong.

AnirudhBhat says:

Hey Daniel, do you have the email address of this Ash guy? He should be enlightened on how stupid his idea is. Let me give you an anecdote.
WP User: Wow. Cortana on my iPad.
iOS and Android : Cortana? Pfft. My ass. Back to siri/g now

As I stated above, it won't "suck". It just needs to perform some basic tasks, and needs some marketing from Microsoft to show people what other things are possible when they have WP along with their PC.

"Corana, open IE". "Search for 'meetings' Excel workbook". "What is the score of the match?" "Create a new Word document on the desktop".

It won't suck at all.

techiez says:

If MS has to advertise a WP, what it would be? what is that would make it stand out?

blackhawk556 says:

Not sure what you're trying to say, but are you saying Google now is better than Cortana?

I think he is saying that Cortana is not a WOW factor outside WP ecosystem.

Dan already made a review comparing Cortana, Siri and Google Now.  Cortana is good, might be better than Siri and Google Now but not by a huge difference.  It is not likely a Google Now user will see Cortana and go crazy about it.

Everything that Cortana can do right now and Google Now cant is really not that hard to implement in a next Android update.

Microsoft knows this and they are already thinking in the future and how to make Cortana really shine. Cortana for iOS and Android is the right thing to do.

eharris560 says:

@Alessandro Dutenhefner I applaud you

Doomguy says:

It has the potential, yes, but I am 100% sure they wil completely screw up, just like they do everywhere else.

If you think of Cortana helping Bing Vs Google, well Siri is doing that already and has been doing it for the past couple of years, Cortana should stay exclusive to windows devices, cellphone, computer, tablet, and gaming console. Then it can expand to other platforms. if I have all of Microsoft services on my iPhone, or my Android why should I change? Right? The problem with Microsoft is not the services or products. It's the company image, they work on image they work on sales, Apple made it because Steve jobs was cool, Microsoft got screwed because Steve Ballmer was..... Well.... Steve Ballmer. Work on image make Microsoft cool people will start building interest and eventually buy

ScottColbert says:

That hasn't worked yet,

theefman says:

Doesnt seem to bother apple or google with their users that use Windows PC's, so why is Microsoft so concerned that Cortanas expereince will be incomplete?

Sure it has. Apple's Mac growth is terrible. They're in the same spot as they were 10 years ago, percentage wise. People who bought iPhones and iPads have not bought into the Mac computer en masse.

James8561 says:

That's because Mac computers are super overpriced. Not because no one wants one.

iOS isn't very dominant in mobile either wiht 15% marketshare worldwide. it's because of prices, not because of the fact that apple likes exclusives.

iPads aren't cheap either, nor are iPhones (once you go past the 16 GB model). iPhones are not taking emerging markets by storm.

And while Macs aren't cheap, they're cost is similar to what good PCs were a decade ago, which people still bought.

Apple has significant problems of their own, including a mobile product line eclipsing their PC one.

SammyD_L625 says:

I phones are not taking the emerging markets by storm because they cost no less than US$1000. In South Africa anyway. So I do agree that the reason for the low market share is price.

chrgeorgeson says:

not true the mac mini is fairly priced.people dont switch because they are used to Windows.

& you cant upgrade macs hardware-wise so cost to trade up is ridiculous for hardware identical to what you can pickup off the shelf for PCs for alot less

theefman says:

How about google? Lots of WP and Windows users use google services like google voice, g+, youtube but google doesnt care that their experience is subpar on Microsoft's platforms, why dont they care?

but Daniel, plz tell us what would be the exclusive feature for WP..people can do great with 13-16mp camera, so they don't require 41mp thing. MS just can't again and again say >> We have the best Camera.
They have to show features which WP exclusively have so that people consider it to buy.

No, they dont.

Exclusive features (like a 41 megapixel camera) creates niche segments.  Thats cool but it doesnt conquer the masses.

MS must keep the app store growing, trying to make phones cheaper, updating the OS with features a lot of people use/need, make the ecosystem better and give it time.

Very few people uses Siri/Google Now, specially outside US, both exists way before Cortana and it didnt stop WP from growing.

Why do people think that Cortana, as it is, is a game change for WP ??

Most people i see buying an android have never heard about a Windows Phone.

Most people i introduce WP ask me the price and if it has Whats App, Candy Crush,Instagram, Tinder, Facebook, Waze... not a single one asked me if it had a Siri or Google Now like app.

Most people i see that uses iPhones dont care about the rest, they just think Apple is amazing and that it is unthinkable to assume another phone could come close to what iPhone has to offer.

McWall says:

I think you are hitting the Android and Mac problem right on the head! In my opinion the long term growth for any of these companies in phones or devices are businesses. You and your staff have been writing about a number of bushiness that are investing in the New Surface Pro 3 even before it hits the market! Apple had a big head start with there phones and table. However, they still do not have a good position in the business market. ( with very few exceptions) I know the hard core phone and game people want to be on the cutting edge with the newest tech. But, I think in the next 5 years the inauguration of the phone,PC, and any other device will be to much for both Android and Apple to keep there large share of the market! Facts are facts! Tables are not replacing PC's or Laptops anytime soon the way Android and Apple are approaching the market. If Microsoft offers Cortana for any operating system. It will be a foot in the door for them to take a customer. If they market Cortana as a annual or monthly service on competitors devices and offer it at no cost on there own OS. They will then have the iPhone and Android customer be able to inaugurate with there Windows 8 or 9. I think in time businesses who supply phones for there employees will like the idea of the PC, Surface and phone seamlessly inaugurate and be more secure. Cortana can help bring the new customer to them! 

Marco Gomes1 says:

That's hardly a fair statement. If you compare the sales inside the mac price range I seriously doubt anyone sells more than apple. That's like saying that Fiat sells more cars than Ferrari does.

Except that a Ferrari has a complete different motor than a Fiat or any other component for the matter.

I do agree that on the mac price pretty much you only have mac selling so no competition.

But if you compare hardware, PC with same hardware of a mac sells considerably more.

McWall says:

This implies that Mac is the Ferrari! Both my wife and son have iPads and iPhones. I have seen first hand the are not Ferrari"s with the exception of the price. If you are going to use these devices in the real world and have them work well in a business environment. Apple or Android is not the way to go! In the long run Microsoft will eat away some of the market share and have a foot hold just like they have in the game console market!

eharris560 says:

Cortana being just as good as the completion. Is that all we are asking for?

Isn't the point of exclusive features supposed to be draws and product differentiators? If they don't have Cortana on their Android then they have reason to consider WP.

It hasn't worked out for BlackBerry and Palm. Only in the end did BlackBerry relinquish BBM, but it's too little too late.

cdbstl76 says:

Daniel, you, more often than not, express my sentiments exactly! Thank you!

WP will die off like Blackberry if these type of moves keep coming out of Redmond. We can forget about a solid 3rd place in the market and can come to expect a continued duopoly for the foreseeable future.

...and yet Microsoft as a company would go on.

Anubis4574 says:

Microsoft, as a company, would alienate its loyal customers. They've already lost public appeal, and now they're trying to lost their own customer's appeal? They are on a course for disaster, and selling out will help them only in the short term, as their ecosystem will perish as people neglect the very idea of Onedrive, WP, etc.

I find this comment substantially loaded with assumptions from what could be described as a brand devotee. I don't think most people in the public feel that strongly about...tech.

And I'm not sure Microsoft ever had public appeal to lose. People used Windows for two reasons (1) work and (2) that's really all there was. No one ever really loved Windows, imo.

guesttt999 says:

"No one ever really loved Windows, imo". Wrong, period. Love Windows! People use Windows for many reasons other than work, development or being productive. Entertainment, games, browsing, music, and included with all these - having fun!

a1rphones says:

Am a WP user ever since but if Microsoft brings its best feature to the competing brands then I have a feeling that they maybe about to give up WP. It's a very clear indication that they are not confident and choose to go the easy route. What they need to do is improve availability and distribution and review their marketing strategy. They got the,best product but they always mess around..

techiez says:

should be we care abt MS or Windows? or just abt WP being here on this forum?
 

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