Microsoft's Cortana is very much the underdog in 2018's virtual assistant race (stray thought: how do virtual assistants race?) but it is becoming more and more useful.
The latest update, which is now rolling out to the Harman Kardon Invoke and Cortana on mobile and PC, means that Cortana can talk to IFTTT, one of the biggest home automation platforms, as well as smart home devices such as Lifx smart bulbs, Honeywell/Lyric and Ecobee smart thermostats, TP-Link Kasa smart plugs and switches and Geeni bulbs and smart surge protectors.
Now, we've known this since CES in January when Microsoft made the announcement but it's good to see Redmond isn't slacking when it comes to getting the update out. The biggie is the IFTTT integration which will let you control hundreds of Applets (home automation triggers and responses) via voice commands.
Microsoft has actually done a decent job of adding Cortana Skills to the initial batch at launch, and we should see some more Cortana powered devices soon - we also have the Johnson Controls Glas thermostat and HP has been quiet on its Cortana smart speaker.
Still, unless you're a heavy Office Suite user or you like the sound quality on the Invoke, Cortana is still too far behind in terms of features and compatibility to recommend over Alexa or Google Assistant.
Source: Windows Blogs