HomeWinBuzzer NewsMicrosoft Cortana Beefs Up Smart Home Capabilities

Microsoft Cortana Beefs Up Smart Home Capabilities

Cortana has gained Rules and Scenes, two new features that give Microsoft’s assistant more power in a smart home environment.


Over the last year, we have been talking more about the problems of rather than the positives. However, while 's virtual assistant is taking a backseat on Windows and becoming productivity-focused, it is also gaining new features for personal users.

Microsoft has rolled out a Cortana update for users on , iOS, and . Specifically, the release is focused on bringing more functionality to the assistant for accessories.

As we have reported before, Microsoft is playing catchup to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa in this area. The more features Cortana can gain the better. With this latest update, Microsoft has debuted “Scenes” and “Rules”.

Both features can be found under Cortana>Notebook>Manage Skills>Connected Home and are described as:

Scenes allows users to pair smart home functions together. For example, users can sync lights and thermostats to work together through a single command with Cortana. For example, if you say, “getting home”, Cortana would set the lights and thermostat to a prearranged level. Microsoft says users can create complex scenes where multiple smart home functions are merged.

Rules is a little simpler than Scenes, but still useful. Users can give smart home devices a single command that will be followed. For example, “Cortana, set the lights in the living room on dim at 10:00pm”.


Windows Central reports both features are now live, although appear to be rolling out in stages. That suggests Microsoft is in A/B testing or beta testing and the features are still on the Inside. We guess Rules and Scenes will make their way to users across Android, iOS and Windows 10 in the coming weeks and months.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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