Could Microsoft’s Digital Assistant Be Coming To Office?

The potential introduction of the Microsoft’s digital assistance has been a hot topic for the online community for the past few months and this introduction could have taken a significant step forward in recent weeks. WindowsblogItalia has recently released 2 leaked screenshots of “Work Assistant” for Windows Phone and according to these screenshots, on opening the app, it shows the hub for all your Office documents.

Accepting Voice Commands

The article from WindowsblogItalia highlights the fact that the app is expected to accept voice commands such as ‘Open’, ‘Search’, ‘Share’, ‘Edit’ along ms-logo-site-sharewith more complex commands such as “open the presentation yesterday” or “email this file to this person.”

The report also adds that as with Google and Apple products accepting the following voice commands “OK Google” or “Hey Siri,” for Microsoft the hotword is “Office” as seen in the final screenshot of “Help” topics.

Such is the importance of the work assistant project to Microsoft, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, has stated that Bill Gates has been involved with the “Work Assistant” app creation for some time. She has also indicated that the Work Assistant is “being developed by Microsoft’s Digital Life + Work group, that is a part of Applications and Services Group (ASG) run by Qi Lu.

Currently, Microsoft is reportedly testing a “Work Assistant” app that’s been designed to use Cortana to open, edit, and share documents using voice commands and Cortana.

Initial Prototype

The initial app will be a prototype, but one can expect Cortana integration in Office apps on mobile as well as desktop, adds the report. In future, Microsoft could also integrate Cortana on iOS and Android.

Microsoft has made a concerted effort to gain a hold on the mobile market for some time and the introduction of ‘Cortana’ could quite conceivably play a significant role in helping to ensure that the market  could no longer be a two-horse race between Apple and Google.