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Hey Cortana, why do you exist?

djarchow

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Nov 13, 2012
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We have multiple Alexa's in the house, one google home mini, and an Invoke. I use my invoke daily to get the forecast, set an alarm for waking up etc. I don't use it much for playing music as the room it is in has it's own full audio system with access to all my music, Spotify, Pandora etc.

I have Cortana on all my PCs and use it some for playing music, timers etc. I used to use it for the integration between my Android phone (text messages, app notifications etc.) and my PC but it only works intermittently. I just cleared out all the linking between my PC and phone and reinstalled Cortana on my phone (for the 4th time.) The text messages worked for a couple days and then just like before they stopped. Now the only notification I get from my phone on the PC are when it tells my my MS band is fully charged. Sad.

Cortana on my Windows phone 8.1 was great especially over bluetooth in the car. Windows 10 mobile broke all that and Cortana was never the same. Cortana on Android is nowhere near Cortana on WP. I know some people blame this on not owning the OS, but there are a lot of things Cortana used to do that had nothing to do with Android and those capabilities have all stopped working.

I also hear people saying that Cortana is dying because MS doesn't have a mobile OS. I don't think this is the real problem. Amazon and Alexa have captured 60% of the smart speaker market with no mobile OS. Alexa's capabilities and market penetration keep growing each day. Cortana not so much.
 

HeyCori

Mod Emeritus
Mar 1, 2011
6,829
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Long story short, I don't have my Echo anymore so it's just me and my Invoke. Everything works fine. I guess my only real complaint is that AI assistants still aren't smart enough. I use Cortana on my Invoke the same way I used Alexa on my Echo - turning my lights on, setting timers, and random factoids. The "AI" part still has a long way to go. While setting reminders is nice, I'm already pretty handy with a digital calendar, and I don't need my devices to keep barking notifications at me for things that I can easily remember.
 

RayWP7

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Dec 10, 2010
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Yeah, Cortana was brilliant, useful, and responsive. On Mobile. At that time, were there "smart" speaker pucks I could have strategically placed around the house that integrated with my Samsung SmartThings, I would have loved her even more! I still love her.

But, like Groove, she has very little utility now. I still use her to add things to my calendar, etc, while on my desktop, but she doesn't run my home like I wanted. Microsoft/ Harmon Kardon speaker came too late and is too big for my applications.

I just bought an XBOX ONE X and part of the setup asks about Cortana. But... there isn't even a Kinect anymore, so what am I supposed to use? Headsets? (serious question what is the practical solution for this?)

I still keep my eyes and ears open, but
I guess I'm saying I have given up.
 

djarchow

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Nov 13, 2012
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I just bought an XBOX ONE X and part of the setup asks about Cortana. But... there isn't even a Kinect anymore, so what am I supposed to use? Headsets? (serious question what is the practical solution for this?)
This seems like a missed opportunity. Since they were designing a new console anyway, they should have just added a far field mic to the Xbox One. The cost increase would have been trivial and you now have another opportunity to grow Cortana usage.
 

anon(50597)

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Sep 28, 2014
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Same reason I don't use Siri, Google, Alexa, whatever. It's completely useless to me, and slower than typing things down.

You don’t have to write anything down.
Book a flight? When you get the confirmation email it knows to give you a reminder.
Leaving for work? It automatically gives you traffic conditions.

You don’t have to do a darned thing.
 

enduserbestpractice

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Aug 3, 2012
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i have an invoke speaker . it is at the same place when i purchased it. not impress with the plan that they have a plan.

i truly miss my windows phone, it did everything, now all this is a frankenstin monster. nothing
is a homengonist echo system that they own. it is a cluge of peices. the important tools that i found i used most was in the car. having a phone i could speak to to say call somome on, pick up a call,
message some one , read that message i just received, text some one, and it would ask what i wanted to say, at the end would check , add more, try again, or send it. i could go in my car and say play this song or artist and it would play, and i could do email via voice commands to my phone via my blue tooth connection in my car, now it does nothing, wants me to press here, clcik here, and read this , it is a typical 80 % half backed, completed microsoft project on android at this point.
I forgot it synced my pictures to my one drive.

of course Google does all this now. Cortana overlay can now,, why do one thing on my phone. and anther in my house or on my pc. oh yea , like the commercial says with the kid playing in the back yard. whats a PC>

Cortana is not the only player going for enterprise for digital assistance. much competition and much innovation you can see daily.

they had a great echo system that worked, and they destroyed it, many years of hoping they would do things right and big disappointments.
 

fatclue_98

Retired Moderator
Apr 1, 2012
9,146
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The recent (?) integration with Outlook is intriguing. Cortana sets a reminder for me if I mention in an email that "I'll let you know later". The cynic in me has reservations about some AI going through my email but I can see where some would dig it. Package tracking has always been there and I do like the calendar events it sets up on delivery day. Of course there's the reading out loud of SMS while on Bluetooth which should be a requirement if you're driving.
 

Dean478

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Jun 9, 2018
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I want to use her, simply because my primary machine is a Windows desktop, but she is totally useless to Australian users. There is no competition with the features on my Android phones' Google AI. On an android phone I can't even utilise hands-free operation which makes it less feasible than Google Assistant and impractical when driving.

A simple example:

"Hey Google, How long will it take me to get to work?" will yield me traffic updates, the fastest route and if I'm in the car, an offer to start navigating.

"Hey Cortana, How long will it take me to get to work?" will give me a useless Bing search with forum questions about "how to get to work faster" and won't even utilise the built in Windows map app or my places associated with my Microsoft account.

There is no integration with OneNote, Outlook or To-Do/Outlook Tasks which means I can't even use her for basic organisation. Being forced to use nothing but Bing and Microsoft Edge doesn't help either. I use Edge, but I prefer Google for most of my searches as I simply get better results.

I want it to succeed so there are options, but they've dropped the ball big time to non-US users.
 

enduserbestpractice

New member
Aug 3, 2012
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Cortana value disappeared for me, no user interfaces.

i and my family loved and used cortan user interface in my car for managing end to tasks with voice commands.
as many others many spend many hours commuting in back and forth to work so an interface in the
auto is essential and a paramount needed feature.

I had to dump it once they made it useless on windows Phone with voice command stop working. they forced me to go to android. their Microsoft launder is useless if you need help voice commanding your communications while driving,

no ability to say hey cortana "text Russ" then ask what you wanted to say, then gave you then asked if you want to send it , try again, or add more, then you could tell it to send,
windows phone with Crotona used to manage email phone and text with voice commands
perfectly.



I have an invoke, and it is really behind the rest of the curve. it can do basics. I can't aske to
read me a recipe in the kitchen or read a book to a child.

most things I ask it to do it says I can't help you with this right now. but i'm learning all the time.
I ask some of the things for over a year now and no change,

the other digital assistants are running rings around it.

Microsoft was doing auto voice commands years ago. but dismantled it ability daily.
now this is all new technology that goggle is showing off in commercials.

so I had to go with google, if I want to be able to manage email, text messaging, phone calls, with voice commands.

why would I want to use google on my phone and Cortana on my pc. it needs to be one package not a Frankenstein.
 

Andrew G1

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Feb 11, 2017
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I live in the US and have a Windows PC and an Android phone. Cortana syncs my messages across devices, so that's good. And sometimes I ask Cortana on my desktop for the weather verbally, which works fine. I also like the little Easter eggs, like "tell me a joke." But that's about it. Cortana has a hell of a time remembering my recent documents - basically, she doesn't. Timeline has since helped solve this in some ways. Cortana on both my phone and PC are hit and miss with flight updates and packages, and frankly, even the weather. Sometimes it simply doesn't show the weather from some of my saved locations. (The darksky skill doesn't help at all; none of the skills seem to work.) Cortana's Outlook/Mail integration is horrible, and the integration with To-Do is nonexistent. (Why the hell is there a second to-do list platform in Cortana???) Maps, location and commute functionality are horribly basic. There are now two ways to get to Cortana on Android: the Microsoft Launcher and the Cortana Android app, but they don't seem to work together or coordinate, so what the hell? It's so confusing. You seem to need Cortana to sync your Edge data across devices, but it never really seems to work, no matter which Cortana app us installed. It's clearly all half-baked. I left Google's AI platform (under its various names) because it kept feeding me news even when I tried to disable it. But now that you really can disable news in your feed, I'm thinking of going back to Google/Google Assistant, since it does the basics on mobile well, whereas Cortana fails very often.
 

Hirox K

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Oct 25, 2016
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at first they rallied around and proclaimed it the best thing ever.
Story sounds just like any discounted products / services from Google, Apple, Sony, Acer, etc...

Cortana, Alexa, Siri whatever VA, not interested in using'em, esp when I'm in the office or in public.

AI + Azure + ROME across IOT, AR, MR, PC, ARM, Xbox and Server for devs is more interesting and more accessible.
 

nate0

New member
Mar 1, 2015
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Seriously. Why?
I guess why not. Cortana was neat when most first took notice as W10/W10M arrived. Identifying songs (deprecated), witty, telling jokes, singing songs etc. Then Cortana could sync content, experiences and info across your device(s). Then Cortana was in a speaker. Cortana is not hurting Windows in my opinion. You can turn it off at least if you have to.

I don't use assistants much or try not to. I honestly don't like them, they kinda weird me out. Siri I never used while owning an iPhone, never turned it on unless by mistake. Google's assistant I never setup turn off or deactivate if possible when using Android. Though you can never really disable Googles AI tools on some devices. It and Google easily get knee deep into your information after you tap OK. Cortana gets use from me because I use Windows 10 every day. Even if Cortana was a trendy creation at the time it can be useful if given ways to do so. I see it as a form of entertainment in some ways yet in other ways a tool. I wish Microsoft could some how grant more granular control over how Cortana can be used. I don't have a specific example on this, but it just seems their could be more options or finer details in how she can use the information we approve to be used.
 

sporosarcina

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Mar 15, 2011
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I have Cortana set on my Android because I have a Surface and various W10 work computers (miss my 950). The integration across all of them is worth the slight decrease in functionality from Google Assistant (and it is slight in my case). I don't know where the posters above get their experiences but Cortana is very functional for my daily use.
 

fatclue_98

Retired Moderator
Apr 1, 2012
9,146
1
38
I have Cortana set on my Android because I have a Surface and various W10 work computers (miss my 950). The integration across all of them is worth the slight decrease in functionality from Google Assistant (and it is slight in my case). I don't know where the posters above get their experiences but Cortana is very functional for my daily use.
Different languages or non-US or UK countries? Some of the posts are describing their experiences on Android which have no correlation with the experience on a Windows phone. Until Siri is available on Android and Windows and Google Assistant is available on iOS and Windows, there should be no cross-platform discussion.
 

Wevenhuis

New member
Oct 19, 2011
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Good question. I have not had the priveledge to experience the value of Cortana, simply because there is no region and language support for Cortana in my region. English will not be the primary language to use Cortana in daily activities. False promises of the hype ever since Tell me on windows phone 7. I've given up on Cortana long ago.
 

anon(50597)

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Sep 28, 2014
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Good question. I have not had the priveledge to experience the value of Cortana, simply because there is no region and language support for Cortana in my region. English will not be the primary language to use Cortana in daily activities. False promises of the hype ever since Tell me on windows phone 7. I've given up on Cortana long ago.

Good point. Typical MS.
 

Roscojim

New member
Feb 22, 2018
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Cortana was awesome on my 950XL. On my Note 8, it stinks. I miss the integration with my car, etc.
 

Elky64

New member
Jun 2, 2017
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Good question. I have not had the priveledge to experience the value of Cortana, simply because there is no region and language support for Cortana in my region. English will not be the primary language to use Cortana in daily activities. False promises of the hype ever since Tell me on windows phone 7. I've given up on Cortana long ago.

Never experienced Cortana either as it took way too long getting up to speed in my region, actually don't think it ever did fully. Essentially MS lollygagged way too long for my liking so I too gave up on her a loooong time ago.
 

Jcmg62

Member
Oct 8, 2013
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Cortana has been around for years, but it seems to be plagued with problems. It struggles with even basic stuff.

Example, this morning I set a voice reminder and it went something like this:

"Hey Cortana, remind me to visit the card factory website at 8 pm tonight."

It repeats back to me is "ok, I'll remind you to visit the card factory website is twenty o'clock tonight."

What the heck is twenty o'clock???

Come on people, Cortana has been around for 4 years now. That's more than enough time to nail down the basics.

If I were a new Cortana user and heard it refer to 8 PM as twenty o'clock I'd assume the app was some garage project put together by a couple of computer science students.

Besides the fact that it's only available in a handful of countries, and it's generally about as useful as a chocolate teapot outside of the USA, it can't even tell the time properly.

Oh, Microsoft. Just why?
 

etphoto

New member
Aug 15, 2007
1,524
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Cortana has been around for years, but it seems to be plagued with problems. It struggles with even basic stuff.

Example, this morning I set a voice reminder and it went something like this:

"Hey Cortana, remind me to visit the card factory website at 8 pm tonight."

It repeats back to me is "ok, I'll remind you to visit the card factory website is twenty o'clock tonight."

What the heck is twenty o'clock???

Come on people, Cortana has been around for 4 years now. That's more than enough time to nail down the basics.

If I were a new Cortana user and heard it refer to 8 PM as twenty o'clock I'd assume the app was some garage project put together by a couple of computer science students.

Besides the fact that it's only available in a handful of countries, and it's generally about as useful as a chocolate teapot outside of the USA, it can't even tell the time properly.

Oh, Microsoft. Just why?

20 O'clock is, I assume, 2000 hrs, which is 8PM military time. I stopped using Cortana when MS killed their mobile so I can't remember, is there a setting in Cortana to not use military time?

Sent from mTalk
 

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