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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  • mkozakewich - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - link

    Office is a completely different product and they've coded all the controls from scratch. It's really terrible and barely functions.
  • Bullwinkle J Moose - Friday, May 19, 2017 - link

    "How about the ability to NOT install certain updates."
    That is not allowed as that would give the END USER control over their own security and future

    I am posting this comment with WINDOWS XP-SP2 without ANY Microsoft security updates!

    I am not worried about Wannacry or any other malware destroying this box or the software it contains because I understand the security issues and have secured this system from malware and Spyware created by Microsoft as well as the NSA and other criminals

    In addition, Microsoft appears to be using malware in Spyware Platform 10 that was originally created by myself and others not related to Microsoft

    Hiding my proprietary technology in Microsoft DRM is not allowed under my license or contract agreements and makes Microsoft Licenses NULL AND VOID!

    Therefore, I will continue to use END USER supplied security instead of being locked into a backdoored system that cannot be secured by design

    I haven't had a bluescreen of death on XP in over 10 years now and can easily mitigate the security problems created by Microsoft and the Tech Laws that were created to control everything by a few scumbags at our expense

    This is a Control Issue!
    Deal with it
  • versesuvius - Friday, May 19, 2017 - link

    Microsoft Windows 10 is probably the only piece of software "built" by one of the richest companies in the world that has about 1,000,000,000 testers around the world, testing it in all sorts of scenarios and under all kinds of imaginable conditions. It is a wonder why it is still such a lousy piece of software.
  • Meteor2 - Saturday, May 20, 2017 - link

    Is it though? Really? I have no problem with Windows 10, nor does anyone I know.
  • Macpoedel - Saturday, May 20, 2017 - link

    Can't tell if you're being sarcastic here... English isn't my native language, so I could be missing the point of your post.

    If end user control of security is such a big concern for you, why stick with Windows XP and not just run a Linux distro which seems to be exactly what you want. Sticking to an old OS because you want to stay in control doesn't make sense when there are plenty of modern alternatives where you're still in control, they're just not Windows.

    Or is that what you're referring to in a convoluted way?
  • nonameo - Friday, May 19, 2017 - link

    LOL. I see this book all over the place in thrift stores. One of the most common books.
  • mominusa - Saturday, May 20, 2017 - link

    Well, one thing you can count on is that they will break something with each update and never bother to correct what the update broke. Another thing you can count on is that you will lose more privacy and control over the OS. For instance, I had the "lose wifi on wake from sleep" bug initially, but had gotten rid of it with the known workaround to disable the wifi power saving option in device manager. Of course, MS could have fixed that with any one of their many updates, but never did. Well, since the anniversary edition update, it is back, and the workaround no longer solves it. Thanks microsoft. Worse yet, it is apparently a known issue that MS is aware of, but they wont bother to fix it this time either. At least I managed to disable the extremely annoying Cortana before the last update made that much more difficult. Words cannot describe how much I hate Win 10. I only leave it on my computer because I game occasionally and also share it with my wife, who would not be comfortable with linux. For my personal laptop that no one else uses, I have changed over to linux for almost everything.
  • RichardHeartonYouTube - Saturday, May 20, 2017 - link

    MS is going to appstore your ass. They are going to walled garden you until they're making the same money on you that apple is. Fuck freedom. Fuck running what software you like. MS will embrace, extend, extinguish your asses. You will bow to microsofts will, for they deserve $50 on every new laptop purchased forever, because, well, they're just that fucking worthy. Seriously, have you seen how much better Word and Excel have gotten over the last 15 years? Bow the fuck down!
  • Meteor2 - Saturday, May 20, 2017 - link

    Do you still live in 1997?
  • mkozakewich - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - link

    He said 15 years! So 2002.

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