How many times have you sent an email to a client promising to finish a project only to have three other projects pile up and put it right out of your mind? But now, Microsoft digital assistant Cortana helps you to remember email promises you’ve made by scanning your emails and prompting you to set reminders.
As part of a series of updates now in beta testing, Microsoft is making Cortana more proactive when it comes to reminders. The digital assistant can now do more than assist with meeting prep, request taxis or track flights or packages.
“People often make promises to do things in e-mail but may forget about them as the days go by and e-mails pile up,” Cortana’s group program manager Marcus Ash wrote on the official Windows blog. “Microsoft Research was pursuing an intriguing and powerful idea around this challenge — automatically recognizing when people make commitments to one another in e-mail messages and providing reminders.”
If you, for example, send an email to a colleague or client saying, “I’ll have this finished by 1 p.m. today,” or “I’ll get back to you by tomorrow” or “I’ll send you the budget by tonight,” Cortana prompts you to set a reminder by creating a card to help you.
Alongside the commitment feature, Microsoft is also focusing on making calendar management easier with Cortana. The digital assistant, for example, will be smart enough to pick your regular working hours and when you are most productive.
“So if you are a morning person like me, and you get a meeting request come through for 7 p.m., Cortana will alert you that you have a meeting outside of your regular times so that you can take action quickly to move it to a better time,” explains Ash. “The same for last minute meetings — say it’s 8 p.m. and your boss has sent you an urgent meeting request for 7 a.m. the next day — Cortana will alert you that there’s a meeting that may need your attention, so you can adjust your alarm and morning routine accordingly and stay on top of your day.”
The new features are still in beta testing, but Microsoft plans to soon roll them out widely to everyone with Windows 10. Small business owners that are looking for more efficiency will definitely benefit from the updates. Here are a lot more reasons why Cortana may be helping run your business this year.
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