Microsoft brings Cortana to its Outlook applications for iOS and Android. We have been waiting for almost two years and will be available in early 2020 for iOS and then for Android. With the new “Play My Emails” feature, Cortana can read emails and even calendar invitations if you wish. work, cook or commute.
You can archive or tag emails as you listen to them. It’s initially limited to the US, and you’ll need to use headphones to listen to emails and a summary of the meetings. This new feature is part of the more general changes that Microsoft made to Cortana to reposition the wizard as a “personal productivity assistant.”
Microsoft also introduces a new male voice for Cortana. This language option is first displayed in Outlook for iOS next to the Read Mail feature. “Our two voices have also been improved to use the Neural Text to Speech features, which give them a more natural sound, thanks to the deep neural networks that match the stress and intonation patterns of the spoken language,” explains Dr. Andrew Shuman, Director of Cortana at Microsoft.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced earlier this year that the company no longer sees Cortana as a competitor to other digital assistants such as Alexa or Google Assistant. Cortana is much more talkative when answering voice or text requests and is more integrated into Office.
We’ve already seen some of it thanks to Microsoft’s ambitions and the integration of Skype into Cortana, but Microsoft is paying close attention to how Cortana integrates with Office. The company is re-positioning Cortana as a skill that can be practiced everywhere, and Microsoft has added the Cortana team from its Artificial Intelligence research team to its Experiences and Peripherals team.
In addition to the changes to Outlook for iOS, Cortana also generates a daily email with information that includes a summary of meetings and important documents. This option will be available to Office 365 users in the US in the coming weeks. Cortana also has the ability to organize meetings with a new scheduler that works as if you had a wizard in a thread.
You can tell Cortana the location, time and duration of a meeting, or ask her to “find a time for us,” and Cortana reserves a room or calls you and answers via email. Cortana checks the calendars to determine the free time for everyone. Cortana then sends the participants a few minutes of meeting before setting the best time and sending everyone an invitation to the calendar.
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