The tech community has been buzzing about it all day: Cortana's coming to iOS and Android. What does this mean for the future of Cortana as an exclusive feature on Windows devices?
As you may know, I suggested on my post about Project Spartan last week that Microsoft could bring the simple functionality of Cortana to a Project Spartan app for Android and iOS later this year. However, this report from Reuters says that a greatly updated version of Cortana will be released as a standalone app for other mobile platforms.
Personally, I think Cortana would fare better as a feature integrated into a Spartan app. If Cortana were her own app, Microsoft would effectively have to feature all of her personality in the app, taking away the exclusivity of a major unique feature on Windows devices. This choice could severely hurt Windows sales.
On the other hand, if Cortana were in the Project Spartan app, she would still be very useful, possibly providing insights, voice search, and reminders, but the personality and true integration featured on Windows devices wouldn't have to be there.
However, Microsoft might not be holding to the exclusivity of Windows features, rather, they may be playing many more of their services as Microsoft features. They have been talking about recently the "Mobility of Experience" they want to bring to their users. This concept suggests that people should be able to use whatever device they want and receive a seamless, consistent experience. They stress this concept in places like their January 21st Windows 10 event, as well as their MWC 2015 keynote on March 2, not to mention their new podcast, Next at Microsoft.
A move such as putting Cortana in her full glory onto other platforms is a bold move, but it shows that Microsoft is willing to sacrifice potential Windows users in order to increase users on the Microsoft service ecosystem as a whole.