Your personal productivity assistant in Microsoft 365 Cortana helps you achieve more with less effort while allowing you to focus on what matters.
Microsoft launched the Cortana digital assistant app on Windows Phone in 2014 before bringing it to Windows 10, Xbox, iOS, and Android. Originally, Microsoft intended to use Cortana as a codename solely, but Halo fans (where Cortana exists as an AI character) convinced Microsoft to keep the name for full release. Microsoft even hired Jen Taylor to reprise the role for the digital assistant’s voice.
Eventually, Cortana made its way to a single smart speaker and thermostat. Unfortunately, the Harmon Kardon Invoke smart speaker experience was abysmal, even if the hardware produced excellent sound. The Glas thermostat didn’t fare much better and proved to be another case of pretty looks that lacked in smarts.
When Cortana first launched, it came with features Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri would emulate at later points, like a digital notebook to track interests and settings. And, you could create reminders and tasks that could even fire off based on contextual complexity. You could create a reminder to buy flowers the next time you passed near a flower shop, for instance. At the time, the other digital assistants lacked those kinds of complex capabilities.