Microsoft has officially launched Cortana, its voice-based virtual assistant, for Windows 10 users in India. The software feature comes as part of the November update which the company released Thursday.
Microsoft says that it has taken its time to mould Cortana to work with the Indian accent. Apart from understanding the accent, the company has also brought an Indian voice. Cortana for Windows 10 in India is said to also feature improved India-specific knowledge bases, with Microsoft giving the example of cricket and golgappas.
The company first introduced Cortana in the country in September as part of its Insider Preview program. At the time, Microsoft said that it was still working on improving voice support in the country, and would roll out the update later.
Cortana now also recognises Indian festivals and customs. For instance, it knows what Diwali is. When asked what Cortana thinks of the festival of lights, it says, "in the courtyard of AI imagination, I would light up a thousand diyas."
It also works with many apps. The company says that Cortana can now help users find and book tickets for movies playing in theatres nearby using BookMyShow app. Microsoft is also touting the ability to take a selfie with voice commands. In addition, Cortana is also getting some general improvements. It is now able to look into your emails to remind you about the upcoming events, and can quickly reschedule the meeting, should that be a requirement.
For a refresh, Microsoft first introduced Cortana as a flagship feature of Windows Phone 8.1. The virtual assistant understands voice commands and can set reminders for you, play songs, and tell jokes. With Siri's limited understanding about India, Microsoft could take a lead on this front and quickly capture the market thanks to the quick and wide adoption of Windows 10.