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Microsoft’s Cortana Is Coming To Oz

MicrosoftCortana is set to debut on Windows 10 on July 29 in the US, UK, China, France, Italy, Germany and Spain, with Microsoft announcing that “over the coming months”, Cortana will be available to Windows Insider Program customers in Australia.

Cortana will also be available to Windows Insider customers in Japan, and in English in Canada and India in the coming months, while later in the year, it will also be available to Windows Insider customers in Brazil and Mexico, and in French in Canada.

“Designing an intelligent personal assistant for new markets requires abandoning a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and instead requires embracing thoughtful local customisation that takes into account what is important in each individual country and culture,” Marcus Ash, Cortana group program manager, wrote in blog post announcing the rollout.

Ash wrote that Microsoft is approaching each market with extensive focus groups in determining what is important in a personal assistant, then assembling a local team of creative writers, editors, programmers and voice talent to “build a relevant, tailored experience”.

“Cortana is customised to reflect the local language, idioms and speech patterns of each country,” he wrote. “We craft Cortana’s local personality based on insights about each culture, while at the same time staying true to the foundational principles that are universal to all markets: Cortana is positive, confident, intelligent and transparent.

“What’s important about this work is that Cortana’s main job is to help each individual to complete tasks. We do extensive research in each market on speech recognition training and understanding local language models so Cortana can understand speech input.”

With Cortana to initially be available to Windows Insider customers, Microsoft has yet to indicate a timescale as to its general Australian release.