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Microsoft's Cortana  (Source: extremetech.com)
We may see Cortana as early as 2014 or as late as 2016

Microsoft is working on a personal assistant for its future Windows Phones, Windows OS and the Xbox One console, and it's said to be a deeply integrated tool rather than just a single service.

Microsoft's personal assistant is named Cortana, after an artificially intelligent character in Microsoft's "Halo" series. 

Microsoft has been talking about launching a personal assistant since 2011 that would compete with the likes of Apple's Siri. But Microsoft wants Cortana to be much more than just a personal assistant -- it wants to make the assistant technology a key part of the entire "shell" of core services and experience on Windows Phones, Xbox One and Windows OS. 

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called it "a family of devices powered by a service-enabled shell." That's where Cortana comes in. Cortana will have the ability to learn and adapt; and will use Microsoft Bing, Tellme speech technology, natural language software and social graph software to tap into every services and experience area of the device.

"Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world," said Ballmer back in July. "Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it."

It's not real clear when Cortana will make a debut. Some reports are saying as early as the Blue release in early 2014 while anonymous Microsoft executives say sometime between 2014 and 2016. 

Bing officials had said that Microsoft is waiting to release a "revolutionary" device to debut Cortana's abilities. 

Microsoft recently purchased Nokia's devices and services division for $7.2 billion, which could help expedite Cortana's release. 

Source: ZDNet



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Cortana is already alive
By Mitch101 on 9/13/2013 11:09:56 AM , Rating: 2
Cortana is already alive and well but rather than release it and everyone say oh look another siri Microsoft wants to put all the functionality they envisioned into it. The goal as they say is not to release it so it feels evolutionary but to come out swinging so its revolutionary. Not sure what they have in mind but I have heard its heavily integrated into the calendar functionality.

Also Outlook.com supports IMAP.
Settings for IMAP are listed below for Outlook.com
Incoming IMAP mail server: imap-mail.outlook.com
Incoming IMAP mail server port: 993
Encryption: SSL

SMTP
Outgoing SMTP mail server: smtp-mail.outlook.com
Outgoing SMTP mail server port: 587
Encryption: TLS

Support for OAuth has also been announced, meaning third-party apps and services can now hook into Outlook.com. In fact, Microsoft and the Outlook.com team are announcing partnerships with TripIt, Sift, Slice, motley*bunch, Unroll.me, OtherInbox, and Context.IO to work with the email service directly.




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