Following an apparent leak of Cortana for the Android platform, Microsoft released comment indicating that it is in fact testing its digital assistant for the Google platform, and will cut it live in short order.
The full quote is as follows:
In the spirit of the Windows Insider Program, we’re testing the Cortana for Android beta with a limited number of users in the U.S. and China before releasing the beta publicly in the next few weeks.
So all that cross-platform talk wasn’t a charade. Expect Cortana to land on Android and, later, iOS.
Cortana is a key component of Windows 10, competing head-to-head with Google’s Now service, and Apple’s Siri tool. Each works to accept voice input from users, converting it into actions, reminders, searches and the like. All three are nascent, but promising. In the ever-glorious platform wars, we’ve broached another front.
Microsoft’s comment that the code will drop inside the next month is notable, as that is roughly in keeping with the launch date of Windows 10 itself, where Cortana has most recently found a new home; the software firm has worked to integrate Cortana across its various Windows brand endpoints.
It will be controversial among the Windows faithful that something built originally for them will find beachhead on rival platforms — if you share all that is unique, are you still a special butterfly? But as we’ve argued at TechCrunch recently, Microsoft is pursuing a two-prong mobile strategy, including endless work to build out its own mobile platform, while also ensuring that it finds home via apps on the two other key on-the-go operating systems.
So, Cortana for Android. Not surprising, but still interesting.
That’s enough tech news for a Friday. Let’s go to the roof and drink beer in the sun.