Remember last week when we thought about whether or not Microsoft might be planning to bring its digital assistant, Cortana, to other operating systems besides Windows Phone? As it turns out, that was kind of pointless: Microsoft has since said they don’t have any plans to actually do anything of the sort in the near future…or probably, really, ever.
Marcus Ash, the same program manager for Windows Phone who speculated on the possibilities of Cortana coming to other operating systems, took to Twitter to fully explain what he meant with his comments. He outlined five priorities for Microsoft regarding Cortana, including making it great for Windows Phone customers, pushing the app out to other territories, and to boost Windows Phone adoption because of Cortana’s excellence.
6. Only after we execute on #1 – #5 do we consider #Cortana anywhere other than Windows devices which are only thoughts/questions, no plans.
— Marcus Ash (@marcusash) June 14, 2014
Based on that, it seems as though any real consideration that Microsoft is giving to the idea of bringing Cortana to other platforms is all just speculative. It’s good to have this conversation, though. Microsoft, as we all know, is in the business of making software. Only in the last few years has it started to dive into hardware with any kind of regularity.
But an app like Cortana is at its best when working on its own platform – a fact we discussed last week when this idea first came up. Using Word on an iPad isn’t going to require a Windows foundation, since the program is self-contained. Cortana, on the other hand, is the kind of app that works as a gateway to the rest of the operating system. As such, it’ll always be best on a Windows product.
Personally, I’m a bit relieved to hear that Microsoft isn’t really thinking too hard about whether or not to bring the app to other platforms. Right now, Windows Phone needs all the exclusive hooks it can get. Maybe as Cortana keeps getting better, more and more people will make the switch. I know I’m interested.