Oh Cortana, how you surprise me in positive ways


Quick background

So I’m a geek and I enrolled in the Windows Phone dev preview program so I could get Windows Phone 8.1 onto my Lumia 925 asap. I have been really pleased with many of the updates e.g. action centre, shape writing and photo as tile background. But one thing missing was Cortana. I briefly changed my settings to make my phone “US” but too many little hassles so I changed back to Australia. Overall though happy days.

Then this week along came Windows 8.1 update 1 and things improved again (Telstra are still “testing” 8.1 before rollout to existing phones down in Australia!!!!). Loving the new “folders” capability, significant improvement over the previous Nokia App folder capability. AND Cortana appeared in Alpha form even with my Australian locale.

The point of this post – how did Cortana surprise me?

I have not had time to play with Cortana and see what it can do so I was surprised and pretty impressed when….

  • I have a 3pm meeting today with the default 15 min alarm set
  • I am away from the office and to be honest had forgotten about the meeting. The 15 min alarm would have been too late to get me there in time (how many times have I been sitting in my seat on the plane when my phone alarm tells me my flight to XYZ leaves in 15 mins)
  • At 1pm my phone alerts me to a message and I open it
  • And there is Cortana reminding me that I have a meeting, but not with the default 15min warning. I am being told that with the current traffic conditions it will take 1hr 15mins to get to the meeting. I am supplied with a map showing directions from my current location to the meeting

I mean seriously how cool is that. A genuine digital assistant that I had not programmed to do something it just happened. I am actually excited (sad, I know) to see what other reminders are given and what other surprises Cortana will provide Smile


About SJKParker

Discovering exceptional stakeholder value through innovative technology investments. 25+ years’ experience as a business and technology hybrid. Providing creative and challenging thinking that delivers alignment of essential business needs with innovative technology. Passionate leadership and business model transformation across large enterprises, start-ups, SMBs, and business turnarounds. Experience gained from working closely with leading software vendors on their global cloud strategy, provided associate services to industry analysts, sharing knowledge as a keynote speaker and writing a variety of books covering the Cloud space. Painting business pictures with an IT brush, providing Experience, Passion & Impact Specialties: Business model transformation, Evangelist and presenter, Cloud Computing, Software as a Service, SaaS, Office 365, Azure, Solution Architect, eProcurement, SPLA, Subscription licensing
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