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.

Clipboard

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.

Timeline

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.

Fluent Design Windows Store and UWP Updates
POST A COMMENT

85 Comments

View All Comments

  • Gothmoth - Friday, May 19, 2017 - link

    they should do proper testing of updates... one of the last updates messes with my audio system. :-( Reply
  • close - Friday, May 19, 2017 - link

    The thing with "proper testing" is that unlike Macs for example Windows runs on thousands and thousands of different hardware and software (drivers especially) combinations. Proper testing on all of them is possible only theoretically.

    So MS figured out what they think is a way to get proper, real data from real computers to aid with troubleshooting and debugging (to which they added another level of data to aid their bottom line :D). They called it telemetry and we all know how people reacted to it.

    Thing is if you want *your* system to be more reliable you have to send some reliability data to MS. Don't expect any magic though. There's a chance you have a uniquely non-standard setup.
    Reply
  • raiden1213 - Friday, May 19, 2017 - link

    How about the ability to NOT install certain updates. You know, like back in the windows 7 and 8 days?

    Forced updates are never a good idea for an operating system that runs on "Thousands and Thousands of different hardware"
    Reply
  • close - Saturday, May 20, 2017 - link

    Sure, then you get thousands and thousands of different update configurations. How does it help with testing when you have for example 200 updates available for an OS and everybody has a different combination applied? How do you make sure that every future update works for your combination? Reply
  • sallgeud - Monday, May 22, 2017 - link

    That's how you end up with WannaCrypt, fool. Reply
  • mominusa - Saturday, May 20, 2017 - link

    Well, five minutes on the internet would have let them find the "lose wifi on wake from sleep" bug that has driven me nuts. Another five minutes on the internet could have told them that the anniversary edition update brought it back and the workaround that solved it previously no longer works. I am sure they much have had thousands of feedback comments on it as well, and I personally sent several. They dont need "more data", they just need to resolve known issues. Reply
  • close - Saturday, May 20, 2017 - link

    I hope you realize that's not how software development and debugging is done. Googling for a generic error that may or may not be a Windows issue or a driver issue. And I hope you realize that the people affected by this are a small fraction of the total number of Windows users. Everybody thinks their bug is critical because it shows up on the first page of Google but it's not.

    To prove a point, I searched for "Windows is great" and found plenty of happy people.

    And reintroducing bugs is exceptionally common in software development. It's down to reusing old code. If you tell me what you do for a living I can find a problem that affects lots of people. And I'm pretty sure your work doesn't cover 80% of a market.
    Reply
  • close - Saturday, May 20, 2017 - link

    Anyway, how many such serious/obvious problems did you have with updates in the past 2 years? No software is perfect and if 1 or 2 bugs is all that you've encountered when updating such a complex piece of software like Windows, with all its dependencies on other software and drivers I'd say it's not that bad, is it?

    It's no different than any other OS, even those that run in very standardized configurations.
    Reply
  • emn13 - Friday, May 19, 2017 - link

    Same here - motherboard integrated realtek audio required a driver reinstall to work. The same driver that was already installed worked; so I'm guessing it was a config corruption issue.

    It's not the first time I've had issues with updates, but it's pretty rare all around, IMHO. I can remember maybe a handful of cases the past decade or so - not too bad, right?
    Reply
  • Samus - Sunday, May 21, 2017 - link

    I've come across a reproducible wifi bug in the Creators Update across different hardware: failure to "reconnect' when resuming from sleep, even though the connection shows you are connected to the wireless network, there is botched network connectivity; some works, some doesn't.

    Going back to sleep and resuming, or disconnecting and reconnecting, solves the problem in each case. Driver updates didn't fix the issue. All laptops with this issue had various Intel controllers, 7260's, 8260's, N's, AC's...could be an Intel issue, but it didn't happen before creators update.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now