Cortana on Windows 8.1 PC and Tablet: Give it Time
At the Build 2014 event, we’ve seen Microsoft announce Windows Phone 8.1 but also Windows 8.1 Update 1, among other interesting things. But many have already started wondering – when will Cortana arrive on Windows 8 computers and tablets?
For those who are aware, the above screenshot is with the original Cortana, the game characther which inspired the current voice assistant that was introduced in Windows Phone 8.1. Rumor has it that Microsoft was developing such a tool well before Apple, but it seems that they didn’t evaluate correctly its potential (the same mistake they did with tablets). But all that’s behind and now voice assistant Cortana has finally been released and Windows Phone aficionados are going crazy about it.
However, the first question on every Windows 8, 8.1 and even Windows RT owner lips is this – when will Cortana be released for Windows 8 and RT tablets and, who knows, maybe even Windows 8 desktop PCs. First of all, we need to understand that this is the first version of Cortana and the best environment to test such a tool is, obviously, mobile. To be honest, it’s really hard to imagine using such a tool on a desktop PC. We don’t see Siri being used on desktop environments and even Google Now has a limited functionality.
Windows 8 tablets won’t get Cortana soon
However, Windows 8 is quite different from iOS and Google’s Android or Chrome products. First of all, we know have tablets which can run the good old desktop interface, so, if Microsoft does release Cortana for Windows 8, 8.1 and RT tablets, it’s hard to imagine that it won’t be available for Windows 8 computers, since the software will be all the same, right? Now, what Microsoft could do here is to offer Cortana as a download only for tablets and somehow restrict it on Windows 8 computers.
Or, since Satya Nadella is the new CEO and he definitely loves mobile and cloud, prove to that being Microsoft Office for the iPad, he could go all in and release it for desktop Windows 8 machines, as well. However, at the moment, it’s really hard to imagine how such a thing would work, so my bet is that it will come via a separate software download for Windows tablets only.
Also, Microsoft doesn’t update Windows Phone as often as Apple updates iOS or Google updates Android, so it might take a while until we see a next version of Cortana. Cortana obviously needs to be built within the software itself, so that’s why I think a download, after all, isn’t possible. The software needs to be “wrapped” around Cortana, as it has access to so many options inside.
Therefore, if we are realistic, we’ll only see Cortana for desktop and touch Windows 8.1 devices only when it will be a very good product and if there are gazillions of tablets out there. But let’s wait and see, maybe they manage to produce some magic.