“Cortana launches with a little more than 20 skills available. By comparison, Google Assistant has more than 230 actions from third-party developers, while Alexa, which opened its Alexa Skills Kit to developers back in 2015, surpassed 10,000 skills three months ago.”
The Cortana Skills Kit has been cooking for a while – good that it is now available to developers. By all accounts, Cortana’s voice recognition is rated to be good. But Microsoft and Cortana struggle to differentiate a native Cortana ecosystem – Microsoft doesn’t have a play on the phone, which is still the ubiquitous device and the natural place for the digital assistant to live, and an in-home speaker, even with Harmon Kardon quality, is an Echo look-alike. In the end, though, the digital assistant experience will be distinguished by how much it can do for consumers and how easily it can do them. 30 skills, 230, 10,000 – the absolute numbers won’t fully tell the story. For voice to really become our interface to everything, we will need to be able to use flexible, intuitive commands to seamlessly move from one action to another.