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Clippy comeback: Microsoft is bringing Cortana to Office

Clippy comeback: Microsoft is bringing Cortana to Office

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Microsoft is bringing its Cortana digital assistant to Office. The software giant is currently testing a "Work Assistant" app that’s designed to use Cortana to open, edit, and share documents using voice commands and Cortana. Microsoft’s initial app is just a prototype right now, but sources familiar with the company’s plans tell The Verge that the intention is to integrate Cortana into Office across mobile and desktop platforms soon.

Cortana will make its way to iOS and Android eventually

That could see Cortana arrive on iOS and Android in future, or at least basic features that are powered by Microsoft’s digital assistant. Given Microsoft’s recent launches of Office for iOS and Android, and a continued focus on making its services and apps available across all platforms, it shouldn’t be surprising that Cortana will eventually make the leap. Business Insider reported in November that Microsoft’s Julie Larson-Green confirmed Cortana will make its way to other operating systems, and Office integration is part of a number of plans for the digital assistant.

A digital assistant returning to Microsoft Office will bring back memories of the annoying Clippy assistant from the '90s days of the company’s productivity software. While Clippy was more of a glorified help tool that popped up randomly when you were authoring documents, Cortana is subtle and actually helpful. Microsoft has been continually improving Cortana over recent months, even integrating it into Windows 10 and the new Spartan browser. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella often refers to Cortana as an example of the types of apps and services the company will deliver in the future.