Cortana with Little Fanfare

Setting up a few PCs over the weekend (a first in years), I was surprised with a few things:

  • The experience in setting up a Windows box hasn’t differed too much over the past 10 years.
  • It’s still a clunky experience.
  • There is so much room for fun in a setup, but little advantage is taken.
  • There’s less bloatware than in the past.

But for all of the things that could be done, Cortana is just a whimper. It really should be a big deal. Apple knows how to do this with macOS and Siri but Microsoft just ignores the amazing technology it’s developed.

Bing STT is underrated. It can perform very well — almost better than Google in some circumstances. Microsoft would serve itself well if it put Cortana front and centre, not buried in a bar. There should be a wake word, there should be context awareness. There should be the ability to ask it questions while still controlling the mouse / keyboard.

Cortana could be the Alexa desktop. More importantly, it could be Alexa if it were freed from the shackles of Windows.

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