You'll soon be able to use Skype to books trips, shop, and plan your schedule, just by chatting with Cortana. During its Build conference, Microsoft demoed how Skype users will soon be able to start a chat with Cortana and get things done just by having a conversation.
"Cortana is brokering the conversation with a third-party bot," says Lilian Rincon, Skype's program manager. Essentially, Skype will know which company or service you want to talk to, bring a new bot into your chat to help out, and then get rid of the bot when you're done.
Bots launch in Skype today
The new features are strongly reminiscent of what Facebook is doing with Messenger. It's allowing third parties to build bots that can help their customers through chat. Facebook also has an assistant, called M, that can step in the middle to handle interactions with third parties. Unlike Cortana, Facebook sometimes does this using human input.
In addition to chat bots, Rincon also said that Skype will be adding what sound like video bots. "We will also be bringing intelligence into real-time video," she says.
Bots launch today, though it isn't clear what will be available at launch. Developers are also getting access to start coding bots today, so presumably there should be some soon.
Check out our Microsoft Build 2016 live blog for the latest updates and our Microsoft hub page for all the news!