Dutch Cortana is still far away, English will come to Benelux

Mar

31

2016

It will take a long time before Microsoft will release an English version of its digital assistant Cortana. That said Cortana the Group Program Manager at Build 2016. Who brought the English language Cortana could use from the summer.

Microsoft did not hurry with the expansion of Cortana to other countries and languages, said Mark Ash, Group Program Manager at Cortana at a session during which Build Tweakers was present. “With the release of the Anniversary Update in the summer we are in thirteen countries available. We then focus specifically on the enhancement of the user experience. We want to ensure that users in these countries as smoothly as possible of the different functionalities of Cortana may use “, Ash announced.

The Anniversary Update adds only two countries to the current list of eleven countries where Cortana activated: Brazil and Mexico, the latter getting the existing Spanish-language version. However, Microsoft claims to make many specific changes to relevant Cortana in each individual market, including support for accents and understanding of region-specific terms. However, the top executive hinting at future further expansion in South America.

“It is very complex to smoothly operate a service based on understanding natural speech,” Ash gives reason for cautious rollout. “You work with a lot of data, fault tolerance is very important.” According to him, it is crucial to the service in the countries where it is available to further develop and fine tune. After that could be given to expansion again.

The ability to expand the English version for non-English speaking countries, the Microsoft employee extreme care and if this is already happening, the risk seems small, the Netherlands and Belgium will be among the first batches of countries. According to Ash to play several factors involved in this choice and an important one is the number of users that Microsoft this would operate. He has so, however, lie only on Windows versions with the Dutch language.

The countries where Cortana is currently available, the US, the UK, India, Germany, France, Canada, Spain, Italy, China, Russia and Japan. Through Insider Build of Windows 10 the French version for Canadians, Brazilians and the Portuguese version for the Spanish-language version for Mexicans is also available. These are added to the final Anniversary Update.

Microsoft is working on significant expansion of the functionality of Cortana to include Skype and bots that combined with SMS, Slack, Telegram and other messaging apps to function, as it appeared during Build 2016.

01:25 Update: In a follow-up discussion with Tweakers gave Ash clarification on the arrival of Cortana in the Netherlands and Belgium. Who the language settings of Windows to English or another has listed already supported language can be use Cortana from the Anniversary Update. Microsoft will let the current requirement for support to fall, but the demand for language settings intact. Users in the French speaking part of Belgium can therefore Francophone Cortana use as they wish.

“The functionality remains limited because Cortana does not recognize English words and phrases. Questions about news or cities in your countries the assistant can not answer,” said Ash. Support for Dutch is still far away, he acknowledges. “Dutch is a very difficult language.” Machine learning helps to let Cortana understand new languages ​​based on existing, but it may take more than a year before the digital assistant has even a little understanding of a new language, he says

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