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Microsoft extends Cortana with Outlook integration, third-party app support

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Microsoft today announced a number of new features for its virtual personal assistant Cortana. The company is extending Cortana's abilities with greater integration into the Outlook email and calendar apps, as well as smarter recognition of specific time and activity requests. Other new features include the ability to reply to text messages from an Android phone on a Windows PC and smart tasks, such as automatically submitting expenses based on incoming email.

Developers will be able to integrate Cortana into their apps, so you can perform actions with voice commands and other automated functions. Cortana is also getting integrated into Skype, providing assistance via a chat interface and interacting with third-party bots from other services. Microsoft is positioning Cortana as the center of a bot-filled universe, where machines assist us with everyday mundane tasks much more than they do now.

Microsoft says that some Cortana updates, such as support from the lock screen, will be included in the Anniversary Update for Windows 10 later this year, though other things will be later down the line.

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