Group Program Manager for Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant Marcus Ash confirmed over Twitter today that the popular feature will be coming to users in China and the UK in the coming weeks.
In general, mobile virtual assistants are severely limited by the Chinese government in terms of what they can do, but if Cortana is able to get an unfiltered release there, it could spell a significant advantage for Windows Phone in the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market.
Confirming previous rumors of Cortana availability outside the US, Ash posted that the new Windows Phone 8.1 assistant is right around the corner for at least two more markets.
According to sources, Chinese Cortana users will be able to enjoy the following features:
- 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.
China has placed numerous limitations on Apple’s Siri assistant, and has altogether forbidden the use of Google Now. We’re curious to see how intact Cortana will be in her Chinese iteration. If it can provide services that Apple and Google aren’t allowed to match, then Windows could get enough of a leverage to seriously boost their sales.
Source | Via | Via