Cortana and Microsoft Graph

It would have been easy to write off Cortana when it was first announced. After all, it was just another personal assistant, and we’d already seen that done a few times. But Cortana is Microsoft’s real link into ecosystems that are not their own, and having that presence across devices that are not running Windows is possibly one of the most important ways they can maintain that presence as the device engagement on Windows goes down. Microsoft is now connecting Windows to the Microsoft Graph, which is going to open up a lot more capabilities for developers, as well as some great features for users. If you’re not a fan of cloud connected devices, this probably isn’t for you, but some of the capabilities are very appealing.


The ability to copy and paste between devices is something that iOS and macOS users have enjoyed for some time, and now Microsoft is brining it to Windows with the ability to copy and paste “just about anything” between your PC and your phone, whether or not it is iOS or Android. That should be very well received.

Pick up where you left off

This is an interesting idea, but going to be more limited in apps that can be used, but if you log off your PC, Cortana on your phone will ask if you want to keep editing the document you were on, as an example, or maybe it’s the website you were browsing on your phone that you want to pick up on your PC. As long as this doesn’t become a bother, it could be pretty handy when you need to switch devices.


This is a very interesting use of the Microsoft Graph. With Timeline, you can go back to a visual timeline of things you were doing before, so it should be much easier to get back to a task that you hadn’t completed, or if you ever have that “what was I just working on?” moment. With File History, we can already go back to files we need to get back, but this is a backup for ideas. Very clever.

The key is Cortana, which is Microsoft’s link to other platforms. Ideas like this may encourage people to use Cortana more on their non-Windows devices, but without user buy-in, this could be an interesting set of features that don’t get much traction. The other issue is Cortana availability, which is very USA first, as with most Microsoft projects. If they want this to succeed, they need to make sure their global audience can use it, but that’s never seemed to be a priority before.

The Microsoft Graph could end up being one of the most important pieces from Microsoft, but first it needs to ship, and then it needs to work well, so for now, let’s reserve judgement.

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  • Alexvrb - Sunday, May 21, 2017 - link

    Only issue I ran into with CU was on an HP laptop I was working with... Synaptics fingerprint reader stopped working. Since HP is terrible about releasing even semi-current drivers, I grabbed a "Lenovo" driver for the Synaptics reader, and it works great. No issues with audio or wifi on any tested device thankfully. Even on my desktop which has a SB Zx, Creative's latest drivers are shockingly still working.

    Audio issues seem to mostly be resolved via driver updates... the wifi issue some people are seeing on Intel controllers I hope will be solved by a driver update or OS patch in the near future as well.
  • jardows2 - Monday, May 22, 2017 - link

    Disable WMM Power save support in your AP. That'll fix your problem.
  • Gothmoth - Friday, May 19, 2017 - link

    "Windows is not the dominant platform it once was"

    you mean on the desktop or overall?

    i would like to know what OS should have threatened the windows dominance?

    linux is still creeping around 2-4% on the desktop... OSX sure has not made a big jump.
    so what has diminished the windows dominance on the desktop?
  • Gothmoth - Friday, May 19, 2017 - link

    that is pretty much the same as every marketshare analysis says.
  • nathanddrews - Friday, May 19, 2017 - link

    That moment when Windows 8.1 has more share than Linux and MacOS combined...
  • close - Friday, May 19, 2017 - link

    Don't worry, things will change now that MS is planning to distribute Linux images in their store. Finally, the year of Linux might be upon us and it will be MS's doing :D.
  • StevoLincolnite - Saturday, May 20, 2017 - link

    That's the spirit! Never loose faith that Linux might have some market relevancy one day.
  • close - Saturday, May 20, 2017 - link

    Every next year is the year of Linux. You should know that by now :).
  • mkozakewich - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - link

    Linux is useless for people who aren't familiar with the command line. Because of that, I expect it'll never become much more popular than it is now.
  • close - Friday, May 19, 2017 - link

    When you used to say "on desktop" it usually meant "on client devices" (basically desktop PCs and laptops). Today you're in the mobile age. Phones, tablets, even the device definition is blurred. Some phones and tablets are more or less fully fledged PCs right now). So it's hard not to consider the "overall" ecosystem now.

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