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Microsoft’s new Cortana strategy: Embrace, extend, and if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

Voice assistants were everywhere at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, where hundreds of new products featuring Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant technology made their debut. You know what you didn’t hear much about? Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant. There’s only a single smart speaker that ever shipped with Cortana baked in (and it’s currently selling for […]

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Non-Cortana voice assistants could become first-class citizens on Windows 10

Windows 10 ships with Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant software baked in. There’s not even a separate search icon in the taskbar — currently you can choose between a Cortana/Search box or a Cortana circle icon. But a recent Windows 10 preview build offers a new look: separate search and Cortana icons. Folks who have dug […]

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Amazon launches Echo Wall Clock, Echo Auto, Alexa-enabled microwave, and other voice-enabled gadgets

In case you missed the memo, Amazon launched a lot of new Alexa-enabled devices today. In addition to new Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Input, and Echo Sub, and Echo Link devices, the company also introduced a bunch of accessories that let you interact with Alexa in new ways and new places. For example, […]

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Expect to see more Alexa-enabled PCs soon

Acer’s latest laptops come with support for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. And Asus and HP announced plans to bring Alexa to some of their PCs earlier this year. Now Amazon says it’s working with ODMs (original design manufacturers) too. The company has unveiled four new PC designs that feature microphones for far-field voice recognition that […]

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Google Assistant is getting 6 new voices, plus new features

Google is kicking off its annual developer conference by talking up several changes rolling out soon to Google Assistant. The company says its voice assistant service is now available on 500 million devices and by the end of the year it will support 30 different languages in 80 countries. Google says most people interact with […]

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Android now supports Alexa, Cortana, or Google as default assistant

Long-press the home button on most recent Android devices and it’ll bring up Google Assistant, allowing you to search by voice, ask questions, set reminders, play voice games, and perform many other tasks. But Android also lets you disable the feature if you don’t use it… or use a third-party assistant if you’d prefer. Up […]

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Report: Facebook still wants to put mic and camera (I mean smart speakers) in your house

Rumor has it that Facebook has been working on a smart speaker system to compete with Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, and whatever it is Microsoft thinks it’s doing with Cortana. And rumor also has it that in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal, Facebook officials thought better of their original plans […]