It seems Cortana will be rolling out around the world much faster than even we expected.
We have heard rumours that Microsoft’s Digital Voice Assistant will be hitting UK shores within the next 2 weeks, and now Marcus Ash, Group Program Manager for Cortana on Windows Phone, has confirmed that it will be “weeks, not months” before we see availability here.
Equally interesting is that China will also be getting the update within the same time frame.
In China Cortana could give Microsoft a significant edge. Google Now is not allowed there and Siri is hobbled, leaving Microsoft with a cool product without significant competition.
Some signs of the Cortana getting ready to deploy there include the appearance there of:
- Daily Routine: Beijing driving curbs schedule.
- Celebrity: celebrities news and social activities which is provided by Bing Score, a rank service developed by Bing China.
- China Watch: public holidays schedule, Bing Dictionary “Word of the Day” and the Beijing Movie Festival schedule.
- Lottery: lottery drawing date and results.
- Movies and TV: top movies and TV in some categories from Youku.
- Weather: temperature in Celsius and air pollution index.
Windows Phone has a very small market share in China, estimated in April to be 0.8% by Kantar, and could certainly do with a competitive advantage in the Android-dominated country.