Microsoft's digital assistant software Cortana is set to serve as the ghost in Android machines. After announcing at E3 that the digital assistant is set to arrive on Xbox One in the US and UK this fall, Microsoft revealed that Cortana will go into beta testing on Android devices next month.
Microsoft had already telegraphed Cortana's move to Android, but now the company has paired "when" with "where." Microsoft is dead serious about unifying its own ecosystem and keeping the door open, even beckoning, rival products to join it.
Cortana for Android is the latest development in Microsoft's reach outside of its own ecosystem and details of the digital assistant's July arrival were released in a blog post by Marcus Ash, program manager for Cortana.
"At Microsoft, our vision for a powerful digital assistant means it is personalized and available to you everywhere, whether you're on-the-go with the device you carry with you, in your office, where you need to be highly productive, or even in your home, where you relax, play, and are entertained," says Ash. "In a multi-device world this means allowing Cortana to move with you between your environments multiple times a day."
The Cortana experience on Android won't include all of the features available on Windows Phone 8.1, but will offer more than enough assistance to tie experiences together accross devices.
"Cortana for Windows 10, for Xbox One, for Android phone, and for iPhone connect the world's only personal digital assistant together across the devices you own and use, right there to buzz you for reminders, answer your questions, and be your personal helper," says Ash.
The start of the beta for Cortana for Android arrives roughly a month before Windows 10 launches, which happens on July 29, according to Cortana.
"Windows will be available on July 29 but you can reserve a copy now. Can't wait to be in your PC," Cortana announced in a blog post from Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's Operating Systems group.
Xbox One will get a sample of Windows 10 and Cortana late this year, with previews of the operating system expected to arrive "post summer," according to Xbox Boss Phil Spencer.