Prepare for your Skype experience to be a little more productive. Microsoft has started integrating its digital assistant Cortana into Skype.
However, don’t be surprised if Cortana is not showing in any of your Skype sessions just yet. Apparently, Microsoft is rolling it out gradually which means that the digital assistant may not be available to all Skype users simultaneously, The Verge reported. However, integration will be made available for both iOS and Android devices in the coming weeks.
So just how helpful will Cortana be once fully integrated into Skype? You can think of it as your invisible—but hopefully, not-too-intrusive— smart friend that supplies you with the information you need to keep the conversation going with your real friends. You know, things like movie times, restaurant hours, movie reviews and pretty much everything you can find out for yourself if you bother looking it up on the web, according to PC Mag. The integration of Cortana will allow users to perform a search engine query without stalling their conversation on Skype.
“Looking for information often requires interrupting the conversation, even if briefly, and switching apps to find what we’re looking for and bring it back into the conversation,” explains Skype’s blog post. “But shouldn’t technology make our lives easier and truly bring the answers we need to our fingertips?”
Cortana’s integration into Skype is not exactly news; Microsoft already revealed the plan more than a year ago. While Skype users will no doubt find the integration useful, it was not explained why it took so long to implement the plan after it was announced.
Meanwhile, there are reports saying that Microsoft may soon be challenging Amazon’s highly successful Echo, an established product in the smart speaker niche. Unveiled earlier this year, Microsoft’s Cortana-enabled smart speaker may hit the markets soon, according to a Business Insider report.
The latest hint comes from an early Microsoft store listing which shows the smart speaker priced at $199. The speaker is developed in a partnership with Harman Kardon, an audio equipment manufacturer which Samsung acquired earlier this year.[Featured Image via YouTube]