Microsoft's digital assistant might not have caught on like Siri or the Google Assistant, but at least it has a cool name. In case you didn't know, Cortana is named after an AI character in the Halo video game franchise. At least, it is right now.
Microsoft is threatening to abandon one of the few things Cortana has going for it. The software giant has reportedly been calling Cortana the "Microsoft 365 Assistant" internally for some time now, suggesting the company could permanently change the name.
As much as we'd malign the name change, it would further signify Microsoft's intention of transitioning Cortana from a general-purpose assistant (like Siri or Google Assistant) to one made for productivity.
In its new role, Cortana will be able to send files, present content and help business users find information across Microsoft 365.
Cortana has had a bumpy road since it was introduced in 2014 as a rival to Siri and the Google Assistant. When Windows Phone died, Cortana fell off its platform and landed in Windows 10 laptops and PCs. But few Windows 10 users need Cortana, and the voice assistant failed to expand into third-party gadgets, like speakers and smart-home appliances.
Love it or hate it, Cortana is surely a better name than Microsoft 365 Assistant. Then again, we'd forgive Microsoft if the name change can somehow reverse Cortana's fortunes.
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Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.