Rumors suggest Microsoft will avoid any major Windows announcements at Build 2019, but it does seem to be talking plenty about virtual assistants. As noted by ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, this year holds a number of sessions on Cortana for the Enterprise.

The offerings tie into the company’s plan to refocus the assistant from a standalone helper to an aide of sorts. Last year, it announced the ability for enterprises to build custom virtual assistants, and it seems that the theme will continue in 2019.

Build will have demos of Microsoft’s Virtual Assistant technology, which uses ties in the company’s Conversational AI cognitive services and Bot Framework for a robust enterprise solution. One session also mentions reference hardware, including microphone arrays.


One session will dive into how La Liga used such technology to offer a personalized news service to its 1.6 billion soccer fans. Executives will also talk about the skills and services companies can provide with its Cortana Skills Kit. These include line-of-business scenarios like filing service tickets and checking vacation balance via voice.

As well as assistants, Microsoft will talk about AI more broadly. Its Generation AI session will talk about the importance of preparing the children for the technology’s growth. In terms of new services, Foley says the company will be launching Personalizer, a cognitive service designed to understand user behavior via enforcement learning.

While these talks are unlikely to please those looking for news on Windows Lite and WCOS, they’re bound to be useful for enterprise customers and developers. Build 2019 will kick off in just a week’s time, with more session announcements possibly coming.