India to Get Updated Version of Cortana This Summer, Reveals Microsoft

India to Get Updated Version of Cortana This Summer, Reveals Microsoft

India will be among a select group of 13 nations where an updated version of Microsoft’s voice-based virtual assistant will roll out later this summer as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Updateannounced by the technology giant.

Apart from India, the other countries where the updated version of Cortana will be rolled out alongside the Windows 10 Anniversary Update include the US, the UK, China, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Mexico, and Brazil, Cortana’s Group Programme Manager Marcus Ash said during a session on the sidelines of the ongoing annual developers’ conference Build 2016 in San Francisco.

(Also see:  Build 2016: Microsoft Unveils Desktop App Converter, Xbox Dev Mode, and More)

Ash told PTI that the update will be available for both phone and personal computers and Microsoft is focused on “getting it right” for its “most important countries”, particularly India, China and Japan.

Ash said Cortana is an English product right now in India but given the different regional languages and dialects in the country, Microsoft is starting to think about how to expand it to the other languages.

“There are all these different languages and regional dialects. That’s the thing they are starting to think about… how to expand (to other languages),” he said.

Cortana was first made available in India in November last year when the technology giant had rolled out its first major update to the Windows 10 operating system.

Kicking-off the Build 2016 conference, Nadella had showcased improvements to Cortana, which was introduced two years ago, and announced previews of new cloud services and toolkits designed to create intelligent bots.

Microsoft on Thursday announced at the ongoing conference that the anniversary update for Windows 10 will be available later this summer in all the 13 countries and along with features innovations for Windows Ink, Cortana, Windows Hello and gaming.

Microsoft had introduced at the conference the ‘Cortana Intelligence Suite’, formerly known as the Cortana Analytics Suite, powered by research into big data, machine learning, perception, analytics and intelligent bots.

Among the new additions to the Cortana Intelligence Suite, is the ‘Microsoft Cognitive Services’, which is a collection of intelligence Application Program Interface (APIs) that allows systems to see, hear, speak, understand and interpret the users’ needs using natural methods of communication.

However, the Cortana Developer Preview is available now, so that developers can get started working with the new features.

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Tags: Apps, Cortana, India, Internet, Microsoft, Personal Assistants

When in Rome, Study Typography: SVA Summer Destinations 2016

The SVA Destinations Masters Workshop: Design History, Theory & Practice in Rome is an intensive hands-on workshop that focuses on typography, book and lettering design, and epigraphy. The 2016 workshop will be held from May 29 to June 12 and is being lead by MFA Design Co-chairsSteven Heller and Lita Talarico.

RomeType735“The highlight of the workshop, aside from Rome itself, is the immersion in typographic culture with experts in the art and design of typefaces, inscriptions and lettering,” says Heller. “History and contemporary practices are explored with leading Roman designers and art directors.” This year’s guest faculty members include Dr. Darius Arya, Maria Pina Bentivenga, Cristina Chiappini, James Clough, Louise Fili, Mario Fois, Paola Manfroni, Mario Rullo and Mauro Zennaro.

An important feature of the workshop is the participants’ final projects. “The final project must be a viable entrepreneurial product,” says MFA Design director of operations Esther Ro-Schofield. “Past participants have designed mobile apps, books and fonts that actually have been launched in the marketplace.” The workshop is open to anyone with experience in graphic design and the final projects can be accomplished in a variety of media—typography, photography, collage and digital media.

RomeGroup735Participants are also exposed to art, architecture, archeology and even Italian cuisine. “Every year in Rome has its share of surprises in terms of how the students respond visually and through their design to the city and its wonders,” says Heller. “It’s always a life changing experience for each participant.”

Deadline for applications for the Masters Workshop: Design History, Theory & Practice  in Rome is April 1.