A job description on LinkedIn has revealed at as recently as February 2018 Microsoft has massive ambitions for their digital assistant in the consumer space.
Posted by the current Director of Engineering, Assistant Experiences and Devices at Microsoft, he filled the Engineering Manager for Cortana@Home position from February 2018 till the present, and describes the mission as below:
I’m leading our Cortana@Home engineering team (think: Consumer version of Cortana) which is building up a plan to go after the Consumer market like never before! Excited to also lead up our Devices engineering team which is responsible for lots of new IoT devices over the next 12-24 months. I am responsible for some of the coolest skills on Cortana including Entertainment, Home Automation, our (previously announced) Amazon collaboration, Reminders, Lists, Conversational Chat, and many more.
If you are looking for a change and want to learn more about the Smart Assistance space come talk to me anytime. I’m hiring engineers at many levels of experience that have an interest in full-stack engineering with a background in Linux/C/C++ greatly desired.
Microsoft will be making noise in this space in the near future – stay tuned.
It is difficult to know where to start really. Over the last 18 months, we have only seen the exact opposite – Cortana has lost consumer skills and features, very few IoT devices have been announced (mainly a thermostat) and the only noise we have seen in the area has been capitulation to Amazon.
At the same time, Microsoft itself has moved aggressively out of the consumer space, most recently closing their book store for example and removing even more features from their Groove Music app.
In February 2018 it was already clear that Cortana was another failed project by Microsoft, and the job description suggests at one time there was a major mismatch between Microsoft’s ambitions and their actual actions very soon afterward and that all is not really well when it comes with the management and direction of the software giant.
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