Microsoft is launching the first-ever Cortana-powered smart speaker today. The company teamed up with Harman Kardon to build the Invoke, a Cortana-powered smart speaker that goes on sale this Sunday for $199.
Today, Microsoft also announced that Cortana now has 148 million monthly active users. Last December, the company shared that Cortana was being used by 145 million users across Windows 10, Android, iOS, and the Xbox One, meaning the service has seen only 2% growth over the last 10 months. Redmond is, however, expecting Invoke to accelerate the growth of Cortana materially and add to its “momentum.”
“Cortana is currently available on over 500M Windows 10 PCs, and there are 148M active monthly Cortana users. Cortana has strong momentum, and we believe that Invoke will accelerate this further,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. Microsoft is relying on its OEM partners to build smart devices powered by Cortana in the near-future, but it isn’t saying too much about its own branded smart device powered by the virtual assistant.
Cortana’s growth may not be too bad considering the fact that the virtual assistant is only available in 13 countries worldwide. Although Microsoft has done a pretty poor job at bringing Cortana to more regions, the company says it’ll continue to work hard to bring the virtual assistant to more customers soon. It’s hard to tell if Cortana’s growth is terrible or actually impressive, though — most of Microsoft’s competitors don’t reveal much (or any) usage stats of their own virtual assistants, and third-party analytic reports aren’t always accurate.