Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella announced their voice assistant Cortana has now passed more than 140 million monthly active users. That’s a pretty healthy number, but they didn’t detail how many of those are voice users.
The Build 2017 developer conference will talk about extending the voice assistant across devices and platforms, including new hardware from manufacturers like Hardon Kardon.
A voice assistant is only as good as the services it can connect to and the skills it can offer users. Microsoft’s been slow in getting the skills API to developers, but during the keynote the Cortana Skills page went live (via @MaryJoFoley).
These are skills from developers that Microsoft have worked with privately, but will now open up this development to integrate with Cortana to all developers.
As you can imagine, the list at launch is very constrained, especially compared to the more than 10,000 skills available from Amazon’s Alexa. Of course there’s Dominos, they’re on absolutely everything, there’s also OpenTable, iHeartRadio, Bartender, TuneIn Radio and then things go down hill fast from there.
Scroll down and you quickly arrive at Cat Facts and the Name Game Song Skills that have horrendously bad icons. Clearly quality isn’t Microsoft’s focus right now, they want all developers to jump on-board.
Check out the Cortana Skills page at microsoft.com/en-us/windows/cortana/cortana-skills/