CES 2018 is going big when it comes to AI and voice-based interactive devices. Amazon and Google have already taken over the show, with their artificial assistant now announced on various devices including Car, Speakers, Display enabled devices, and so on. This made everybody question on what is Microsoft doing with Cortana.
The only announcement we have seen till now is with Qualcomm platform for AI which is also open to Alexa and Google Assistant. This definitely has forced Microsoft to do some damage control and in their official blog post on Windows Blog, Jordi Ribas said:
To kick-off 2018, we’re making it easier than ever for OEMs and developers to build for Cortana with the Cortana Devices SDK. Just last week, Johnson Controls announced the new Cortana-enabled JCI Glas thermostat, built using the Cortana Devices SDK. We’ve also partnered with industry leaders including Allwinner, Synaptics, TONLY and Qualcomm, to develop reference designs for new Cortana experiences. Sign up today to start building with the Devices SDK and bring Cortana to your very own designs or leverage one of the many reference designs from our Cortana Device Program partners. Additionally, skills created using the Cortana Skills Kit are available on devices built leveraging the SDK, allowing users to seamlessly access their favorite Cortana skills across all devices.
With the support of both existing and new partnerships, we’re continuing to bring Cortana to even more places in the office, at home and on the go. Regardless of the device or context, our goal is to put Cortana everywhere you need assistance, whether that is on your PC, phone, Xbox, mixed reality headsets, intelligent home speakers, thermostats and even more in the future. You’ll continue to see Cortana integrated on your favorite devices and services throughout the year to come.
That said, announcing something, and then getting it to consumers is totally a different story. Microsoft will be hard to trust on that, especially with the Harman speakers which came out too late, and too expensive. While we hope, we remain skeptical of Microsoft effort with Cortana, especially when its been US only most of the time.