Cortana touches down in Continental Europe

It’s been over two months now since we last looked at Microsoft’s global strategy for its voice-powered personal assistant, Cortana. Back then, we were hearing teasers out of France that suggested the service could soon find itself coming to the nation, following availability in the UK. Well, we’re still not quite all the way to a full-blown release, but this week still brings us greatly expanded European Cortana access, as Microsoft brings an alpha version to users in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

What does that “alpha” business mean? Well, for the moment Cortana will only be available in those nations as part of the Windows Phone Developer Preview Program. And while much of the base functionality should be present, responding to voice queries and pulling up relevant links, not all of the advanced features will be there just yet. Specifically, Microsoft points to things like missing flight tracking, the ability to cite certain facts, and only spotty access to transit info.

Those limitations in mind, Cortana’s only going to get better as time goes on, and the more community feedback Microsoft gets, as well as the more voice data it can compile as it picks up samples from additional speakers, the more useful it stands to become.

Following this alpha program, Microsoft already has its sights on a broader beta release, though there’s not yet any information about when that next phase might get underway.

Source: Microsoft
Via: The Verge

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!