• Welcome to the all-new Windows Central Forums! - We're still moving some things around, so you may see a few quirks here and there, but we're working on getting things fully completed as soon as possible. For now, take a look around, and if you run into any major issues, please let us know in this thread!

Cortana is already my personal assistant. Why can't she be my secretary?

Roman DeSilva

New member
Mar 9, 2013
So Cortana has been getting a lot of improvements lately. When she was released, she was billed as being my personal assistant. She's been pretty good at the assistant thing. But what I really need is a secretary. Someone not only capable of reminding me to do things at a time, place or contact. But a digital secretary that can do things for me. Even interact with people for me when it comes to setting appointments, reminders or tasks. These things really need to be in her next update for her to be truly useful.

1: Replace my voicemail: Voicemail hasn't really changed much. It's still identical to the way we used answering machines back in the day. I leave a recorded message and after a beep, someone leaves a message. Why can't Cortana and bots handle messages for me? Lets say I my mother calls me. Cortana could let me know it's her and ask me if I want to take the call or have her talk to my mom (the latter is preferred more often than not). If my mother says to call her back later, Cortana could ask me if I would like to set a reminder to call her back based on a time or loctation.

Lets say my doctor wants to remind me of an appt. Cortana could either confirm to him over the call that the appt is scheduled or prompt me to accept the appt. if I accept, Cortana could either send my Doctor a text message back to my doctor at the number he called me from, a number he left in the message or via email he left in the message.

2: Better location & time based actions: Cortana at the moment only reminds me at a specific time or place when I ask her to do so. Why can't Cortana do things for me when I get to a place or at a time? Lets say it's late at night and I leave a friends house and they tell me to text or call them when I get home. I forget to do this all the time. Why can't I say, hey Cortana, when I get home, text (insert friends name here) and tell them I'm home safe. Thanks for the lovely evening. Another useful thing Cortana could do for me is to text or email someone a message at a specific time. Example; Hey Cortana, at 01:15 pm, text my boss and tell her that I'll be filling in for daisy at the convention tomorrow. If there's a reply to any of these scenarios, bots can handle the time, date and location details then simply have me confirm them.

3: If Cortana is everywhere, then why can't my Cortana talk to other peoples Cortana?: The best part of Cortana being on more than Windows and Windows mobile should be that they talk to each other. Lets say I want to let my roommate know he needs to do something when he gets home. Rather than rely on him reading a message and remembering to do it. iI he has Cortana on his iPhone, why can't I say Hey Cortana, remind Steve when he gets home to empty the dish washer.

4: Knowing who's calling should be more sophisticated than knowing the ringtone I set for them. Back to something I mentioned earlier. Why can't Cortana say who's calling and ask me what I'd like to do with the call? It'd be nice if when a call came in, I could tell Cortana to take a message, ask them what they want or send them a message for me and let Cortana's bots handle the reply's.

*Call come in (You can leave the ringtone).

*Cortana: Your mothers calling. would you like to answer or let me handle the call?

*Me: Tell my mother I'm driving right now. what's up?

*Cortana (to my mother): Hello Ms, DaSilva, Roman is driving right now. How can I help you?

*Mother: tell him when he gets home to call me.

*Cortana (to my mother): yes maam. have a nice day.

*Cortana (to me): Your mother would like you to call her back when you get home. would you like to accept, edit or decline this reminder?

*Me: edit this reminder

*Cortana: what would you like to change?

*Me: change place to time and set reminder for 5 hours from now.

*Cortana: got it.

5: Why treat each caller the same?: If Cortana is handling voicemails, she can be set to do different things for different people. If I say Hey Cortana, When my boss calls, let him know I've already picked up the package and I'm on my way back. Then when my boss calls, he gets that message and can either hang up or interact with Cortana as stated above. That way I'm not interrupted by his phone call.

With all these actions, the call is still being recorded so that if I want to review them later, I can. But the idea of this is so that I don't have to listen to a long message to get the information that I need. I'm not asking for Cortana to be a friendlier version of Skynet here. I'm asking her to do the same thing that call centers do but for me and without the press 1 or 2. The less I have to interact with my phone to interact with other people for what I feel are mundane tasks and inquiries, the more productive I can be. and if Cortana is handling voice and text messages, it means that my messages aren't just everywhere. It means they've been handled intelligently.

Ariel Takom

New member
Aug 9, 2015
Your idea of Cortana helping you answer calls or messages are awesome, but I believe with current AI technology, it isn't possible yet. As of now, Cortana is still having problems with accurately translating/hearing what her users are saying due to accents and what not, so expecting her to identify what the caller said (not to mention the call quality might be poor as well due to signal reception and other factors) would be a difficult task for her.

Also, you have to bear in mind that Cortana's availability is still limited (US, China, some European countries). I'm guessing that Microsoft is working on expanding Cortana's availability first, while adding few new non-ground-breaking features to Cortana, before making drastic improvements to it.


Trusted Member
Sep 28, 2014
I love your ideas and feel that we may be there someday, just not yet. The technology needs to improve and the integration between apps isn't there yet. Do you have the education to work on these things? Would be pretty cool.


New member
Aug 15, 2007
I like the ideas too. Cortana would need to answer the phone and put the caller on hold while it contacts you to see what you want to do with the call.

Sent from mTalk


New member
Jun 27, 2012
I like the ideas, but I don't believe that #3 will work, unless there is an "Accept" or "Deny" option that pops up.