Earlier today, quite an unexpected app present became available for those who are fans of Microsoft but running an android smartphone. The app in question was Microsoft's digital assistant app, Cortana. Now, the android version of Cortana had been known of for a long time and was widely reported on. However, this morning the android app was leaked and allowed anyone running an android smartphone to download and install the beta version on their smartphone and start using the service.
At the time, little was known about the actual origins of the app. This was not an official release and as such simply made its way on to the internet with various sources seeming to have the initial access. Well, in light of today's leak, it now seems that Microsoft reached out to ZDNet and provided them with a statement on the matter. According to the report, Microsoft have confirmed that certain Windows customers into the U.S. and China had been giving access to the beta app, to allow for early testing ahead of its wider rollout. To gain access to the app, those within the Windows Insider Program simply had to fill out a short survey and the ones selected received a download link via email. It seems it was one of these Window Insider Program users who initially leaked the app.
Following on from everything that has happened, the statement from Microsoft does confirm that the limited selection of users is now in testing and also does state that the general rollout of the service will begin in the next few weeks. "In the spirit of the Windows Insider Program, we're testing the Cortana for Android beta with a limited number of users in the U.S. and China before releasing the beta publicly in the next few weeks." It had already been reported that the beta version of the app was due to become available sometime in July and therefore, it seems as though it is on course for its more official rollout. That said, whether the leaking of the app will now speed up or slow down the official launch of Cortana remains to be seen.