CORTANA NOW UNDERSTANDS YOUR INDIAN ENGLISH ACCENT!

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Microsoft’s personal digital assistant Cortana for PCs and mobile devices finally arrived in India, in a better way. The software giant has rolled out Cortana as part of first major update to its Windows 10 operating system. Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri and Google Now, which respond to voice commands on mobile devices. Cortana is now customized to reflect the local accent, idioms and speech patterns of India. However, Cortana for Windows 10 will be available only in English in the country.

Microsoft recently rolled out an updated version of Cortana later this summer as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. India was among the select group of 13 nations to get the update. Apart from India, the other countries where the Windows 10 Anniversary Update would be available includes USA, UK, China, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Mexico and Brazil.

Earlier in September last year, Microsoft had announced that it would be bringing Cortana to India. During that time, the company had made Cortana available for Windows 10 Insider Preview users. Cortana for PC originally had limited availability, including USA, when Windows 10 came out. The company wanted to adjust it for each location.

Widely considered the best feature of Windows 10, Cortana is a personal assistant that responds to voice commands. In my Windows 10 review, I found it to be pretty accurate in terms of recognizing our voice and offering answers to our questions. It also displays cards for weather and trending news stories when you click on the Search Box. Windows 10’s first major update is all about Cortana reaching the Indian audience and adapting to Indian accent.

Microsoft says it is also bringing performance improvements to Mail, Calendar, Groove Music, Xbox Store and other Microsoft apps. It also announced that its intelligent personal assistant Cortana will work only with its own Edge browser and Bing on Windows 10. In a blog post, Ryan Gavin, the general manager of Search and Cortana, wrote, “Starting today, to ensure we can deliver the integrated search experience designed for Windows 10, Microsoft Edge will be the only browser that will launch when you search from the Cortana Box.” This means all other search providers like Google, Opera, Yahoo that compete with Microsoft’s Edge or Bing search engines will not work within the Cortana digital assistant in Windows 10.

“Our promise to you is that Windows 10 will provide you with great search results and a personalized, reliable search experience through Cortana and Microsoft Edge. We will continue to work hard to provide you with the amazing experience you expect from Windows, while keeping you in control and helping you do great things,” Gavin said in the blog post.

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