• There’s a lot of skepticism about Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It lags in apps, smart home support, and hardware integrations.
  • However, Microsoft says Cortana isn’t cooked yet: It’s going to come to more devices beyond just Windows 10 PCs, and you’ll see Cortana make more use of Microsoft’s data.
  • Some changes are coming to Cortana on the Windows 10 PC, too, with Microsoft signaling that it’s going to bring Cortana into more parts of the operating system.
  • Microsoft says that its long-promised integration with Amazon Alexa is in the final stages of testing and coming soon.

While Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant dominated the conversation at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show, it only served to make Microsoft’s competing Cortana look severely lacking in comparison.

At CES, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant showed off new integrations with scores of gadgets, including new cars, smart home devices, and third-party headphones and speakers. Amazon even announced a deal with HP, Acer, and Asus to bring Alexa to the Windows 10 PC.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Cortana is only available on one non-Windows device — the good, but limited, Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker. And while Microsoft showed off some new smart home integrations for Cortana, and compatibility with popular automation tool IFTTT, the Cortana ecosystem simply isn’t growing as fast as Amazon’s or Google’s.

Confidence in Cortana was further shook by an announcement that Microsoft was cancelling a key and much-hyped integration between the assistant and its Dynamics 365 sales product. Microsoft now says that the announcement was made in error, and that the integration is coming, but the damage had been done. Larry Dignan of ZDNet went so far as to say that CES was “Microsoft Cortana’s funeral.”

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