Microsoft Unveils Cortana for Android, iOS

Windows phone users won't be the only ones able to test-drive Microsoft's new Windows 10 operating system when it comes out later this summer. The new OS, which Microsoft is touting as a "universal" system that delivers the same experience across any device, will also be available as a "Phone Companion" app on iOS and Android phones.

Along with the Phone Companion, iOS and Android users will also be able to install an application for Cortana, Microsoft's "smart" digital assistant. The iOS and Android versions of Cortana will be able to do most of what it does on Windows phones and devices, although some functions -- like the ability to activate the assistant hands-free by saying, "Hey Cortana" -- won't be available.

Microsoft also plans to update its Music app so iOS and Android users will be able to access and play music stored on OneDrive via their phones as well as via their PCs. All the updates are set to begin rolling out at the end of June, according to Microsoft.

An OS Experience that Goes Where You Go

"In a multi-device world where you move between your phone, tablet and PC multiple times a day -- you expect your experience to go wherever you do," Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft's Operating Systems Group, said in a post on the Windows blog. "That's why we built Windows 10 on a common core and enabled Windows Universal Apps, so people using Windows 10 for both their PC and smartphone experience will get an optimal, seamless experience as they transition devices throughout the day."

However, because most people don't have Windows phones, Microsoft, which is increasingly expanding its reach beyond just Windows devices, needed to find a way to enable that multi-device experience on the iOS and Android mobile platforms. It...

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