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With Windows 10, Microsoft brought Windows Phone’s personal assistant, Cortana, to new types of devices. The personal assistant launched on PCs initially, but it quickly made its way to the Xbox One, Microsoft Band, Surface Hub, as well as the HoloLens. And now, it seems Cortana is coming to even more devices that are powered by Windows 10. At WinHEC 2016, Microsoft announced that the company is bringing Cortana to Windows 10 IoT Core devices that include a display.
Devices that run on Windows 10 IoT Core will be able to use Cortana with the Windows 10 Creators Update — which suggests that even your fridge may have Cortana on it in the near-future. Mind you, there’s already a fridge running Windows 10 — so don’t be too surprised if your fridge or even your thermostat includes Cortana next year.
In addition to Cortana, Microsoft is also introducing two other substantial feature to Windows 10 with the Creators Update. The first one, which is simply called “Wake on Voice from Modern Standby” will allow Cortana to turn on devices that are turned off which is definitely really cool. In addition to this, Microsoft is also introducing “Far-field Voice” support, which, as the name implies, will allow users to use Cortana from far away — at a distance of up to 4 meters.
Cortana coming to Windows 10 IoT Core may open up the door for new types of devices from OEMs. For instance, companies can build a device with a small display that has Cortana support — similar to the Amazon Echo or Google Home, which would allow users to use Cortana whenever they want thanks to Wake on Voice and Far-Field Voice features in the Creators Update.
Microsoft expects to initially release Cortana to users in the United States and the United Kingdom on Windows 10 IoT Core with the Creators Update — however, the personal assistant will be coming to more devices after that. Windows 10 Creators Update isset to release in early 2017. but IoT devices running Cortana may not arrive until late 2017 or early 2018.