Microsoft is seemingly making a breakthrough with its Cortana virtual assistant which could expand its usefulness. Microsoft consultant Jonathan (@obrienclanman) took to Twitter to confirm an interesting new feature for Microsoft Cortana.
That feature is an ability for the digital assistant to distinguish between different voices. As usual, Microsoft Cortana is late to the party as Amazon Alexa has had this ability since October 2017.
It seems Microsoft has been working behind the scenes to make Cortana catch up. Still it is another example of the company’s assistant lacking the functionality of Alexa. Perhaps there’s little wonder that Alexa has been making moves on Windows 10 and Xbox, while also integrating with Cortana these days.
Jonathan says he recently purchased a new Xbox One and found the new Cortana feature as part of Xbox Skill. You may remember Microsoft Cortana and Alexa scored new commands on Xbox Skill back in September.
@maryjofoley @thurrott @zacbowden #Cortana update leak which allows multiple user profiles on different devices via voice recognition. Btn (unusable) appears for Invoke on iOS, and for Xbox on Win10. Progress! Still excited about potential, esp. in the business / o365 world pic.twitter.com/PI8fdlu9H0
— Jonathan (@obrienclanman) December 11, 2018
Now the Xbox Skill service allows Cortana to distinguish between voices:
“First teach Cortana to recognize your voice and then you can add other people. Each person she recognizes will get their own individual content and settings on the device.” Microsoft’s blurb says there is a limit of six users per device.
Cortana and Alexa Integration
Since the announcement, Microsoft’s Cortana strategy become confused, with the company now steering the assistant towards productivity. At the same time, Alexa found traction on Windows 10 and on several OEM PCs.