Cortana can now scan your e-mail to remind you about commitments

By Shawn Knight ยท 15 replies
Jan 25, 2016
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  1. As one of the flagship features of Windows 10, it's no surprise to see Microsoft investing heavily in Cortana. After all, there's a lot of competition from other technology giants and the last thing Microsoft wants to do is fall behind the times.

    On that note, Microsoft on Monday announced a couple of new Cortana features which it says will help users get more done throughout the day.

    One area that Microsoft focused on is reminders. As Cortana Group Project Manager Marcus Ash explains, people often make promises to do things in e-mail but may forget about them as the days pass. Now, Cortana can scan you e-mail in search of commitments and remind you about them the next time you hop on the PC.

    The second new feature is the ability for Cortana to help manage your calendar by providing basic insights.

    For example, Microsoft's digital assistant can spot when you might have a meeting that falls outside of your normal work hours, one that conflicts with an existing meeting or one that is scheduled during your commute.

    The new Cortana update is rolling out now to Windows Insider Program participants and will eventually find its way to all Windows 10 users. Those interested in joining the Insider program can learn more by clicking here.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 925   +284

    Wonder how long before people freak out about this without realizing that Google and Apple both do the same thing?
    Teko03 and darkzelda like this.
  3. Gaara

    Gaara TS Booster Posts: 103   +26

    Cortana can now scan your e-mail to remind you that you been spying by Microsoft
  4. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 925   +284

    Well that didn't take long.
    jonny702 and Teko03 like this.
  5. Teko03

    Teko03 TS Evangelist Posts: 415   +186

    Right LOL. It's only bad when Microsoft does it, but cool when Google and Apple do the same...
  6. umbala

    umbala TS Maniac Posts: 197   +176

    Sounds like an awesome feature. Maybe next they can scan all my bank accounts and credit cards to remind me when my credit rating is dropping or I'm late on a bill payment. And then later they can add a feature where Cortana scans my testicles and let me know my sperm count is low for trying to get my wife pregnant. Oh and send all that information back to Microsoft too, anonymously of course, because that makes it totally acceptable to invade your privacy. :)
    Raoul Duke and Gaara like this.
  7. umbala

    umbala TS Maniac Posts: 197   +176

    You remind of those anti-drug commercials they used to run in the 90s where the kids were like "everybody's doing it, it's no big deal!" because you're absolutely right, every company is doing their best to invade your privacy so Microsoft should get a free pass. It's only fair, right?
    Evernessince likes this.
  8. AvalonMD

    AvalonMD TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +42

    Shame bud, you still have this illusion of privacy on the internet...
  9. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,665   +1,097

    you are talking like MS is reading your emails to laugh at you. it's just an automated process that doesn't involve stealing your credit card data to sell it to the highest bidder.
    I really don't understand why people get so freaked out about this. technology has evolved, don't be stuck in the stone age. you don't like it? then stop using your phone, the internet, your laptop, the bank, quit your job, leave your friends and family behind and go live in the middle of nowhere.
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    We all have to stop using the tech sometime except we don't go live in the middle of nowhere, a cemetery is the most likely place.
    Anyway, Cortana, Google Now etc. is about as useful to me as tits on a bull, thankfully I'm not forced to use it.
    Puiu likes this.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,536

    Gosh, Siri and Cortana are the embodiment of all women to all people. The fusion of your life's purpose to a machine I'd consider going on at some length about it, but I think you'd have a better overview by reading anything by Sigmund Freud.
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Sigmund Freud? No thanks. I'd rather read what Hitler had to say about Sigmund Freud when he was a homeless, struggling painter in Vienna instead... in fact I think I may already have although I'm not too sure.
  13. jonny702

    jonny702 TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +11

    The reason people belly ache about Microsoft doing this, is because Microsoft is actually transparent and open about it and says "this feature is available if you want to use it" unlike the other companies, that just do it and bury the fact somewhere in a EULA
    Puiu and AvalonMD like this.
  14. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 925   +284

    You can disable all of these things in Windows, really you actually can so if you don't want to use it by all means turn it off. I just hate the bitching and moaning people do when they act as if this is mandatory with no possible way of disabling these options. This option is actually useful to me and I have been using the Google version for a while to automatically add flight details and info into my Google Calendar for at least 3 years now.
    Puiu likes this.
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,010   +2,536

    M$ needs to be complained about, part and parcel. But perhaps not primarily because of "Cortana"reading your mail. If you accept a Gmail account, the same thing occurs, and it's quite obvious it's happening because of the "targeted ads", which mirror types of products you've purchased on the web, and those notifications, invoices, and tracking info being shuttled through Google.

    I mean, that's a slam dunk giveaway that your email is being "scanned", for all but the most ploddingly stupid among us.

    As far as M$ is concerned, people are used to an operating system being a whole lot more "inert" in the commercial arena. It should provide, (IMHO), a way to access your machine, nothing more. However, Cortana does require the internet to function correctly, and if you've been sitting around longing for a computer you can talk to, you should shut up, and take the good with the bad. Put in the more traditional way, "be careful what you wish for, you just might get it".

    Google doesn't bury, "BTW, we're reading your email" in any EULA either. It's usually in the form of a press release, something to the effect of, "how about if we tell you what a big favor we're doing you by reading your email".:eek:

    Now if you want to PAY for a commercial account, (most of us don't), and you still get "targeted ads", then I believe, you would have a legitimate complaint.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
  16. AFAIK Microsoft Outlook has been doing 'this great new Cortana innovation for calendar' stuff, for about a decade now. Except with Outlook, you don't have to say HEY, HEY to your computer all day.

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