Cortana and its New Diary Functions

28th January 2016 by in category IT Support Blog, Microsoft Windows tagged as , , , , , , with 0 and 3

Let Cortana say goodbye to missed appointments and unread emails

A Windows phone with Cortana.

A Windows Phone with Cortana. Image by Tej3478, 2014 (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

“Call Donna at 6 pm…” “Meet Eric outside North British Hotel…” “Don’t forget milk…” A busy schedule could see us forget the little things, whether we are 23 or 83 years of age.  It could be anything from remembering the tram times to knowing which platform the King’s Cross train is on.  A lot of the above problems could be solved with diaries, notebooks, electronic organisers and apps.  If you’re lucky enough to have a Windows Phone and a PC with Windows 10, enter the latest Cortana update.

Though Cortana has been with us for the last two years, its latest function allows you to plan meetings and set reminders with ease.  Its latest update allows Cortana to scan your emails and set reminders related to appointments.  Which, if your memory’s fading, is a Godsend.  On the other hand, it seems Orwellian but, Cortana will read your emails and set reminders on your local machine.  According to Microsoft, nothing will be passed to third parties, nor read externally.  This YouTube clip from Microsoft describes its features.

Cortana’s new diary functions are being developed by Microsoft Research.  Their main role is the creation of new and unique ways of interacting with emergent technologies. The technology is based on similar mechanisms used for tracking flights and parcels.

Any Cortana enabled PC and smartphone is able to keep an eye on emails sent to your device.  With its appointment functions, it can be used to suggest an alternative date and time.  For example, you receive a message that states:

“Meet Donna in Leith, 6 pm.”

Then you realise – or rather, your device also realises – you have an appointment at Jamie’s Italian at 5.30pm, for two hours on the same day.  It’ll allow you to send an email saying you cannot fulfil the latter date.  Or you could ditch the date with Donna, but she’ll be a little upset.

If you are sat in front of a PC with Windows 10, it will also remind you of your future appointments in the same fashion.

If it works well (should Microsoft keeps its word on the privacy settings), Cortana’s new update will be a boon.  Not only for busy executives, but also elderly people.  We think it will be a good move for Microsoft, even if Windows Phone remains third to Android and iOS devices.

For more information, the Windows Blog offers another view of what could be a game changer for Microsoft.

Tabard IT, 28 January 2016.

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