Microsoft sets the stage for Cortana-powered smart devices

At long last, Microsoft has set a public target of bringing consumer devices—that aren’t PCs—to market in 2017 with its personal digital assistant, Cortana, inside of them. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a way to challenge Amazon’s Alexa-powered Dot and Echo devices, as well as Google’s Google Home. Microsoft’s New Devices SDK will allow to power a new line of connected-car speakers from Harmon Kardon in 2017, executives said, with presumably more partnerships to come. This follows an earlier announcement that Cortana is coming to Windows 10 IoT, Microsoft’s operating system for smart devices. Why this matters: Though Apple, Microsoft, and Google all have prominent artificial-intelligence initiatives, it’s been Amazon—and, to a lesser extent, Google—that have designed devices around their technology. With the struggles of Windows Mobile, Cortana has been largely…


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