Microsoft has been making some interesting moves of late and has certainly been building inroads to cement their position within the Android OS ecosystem. As well as releasing a ton of apps which now work on Android devices, the company has also been building relationships with certain manufacturers. Samsung recently confirmed the use of a number of pre-installed Microsoft apps on some of their devices going forward, while the bigger moves from Microsoft have been seen recently in regards to their relationship with Cyanogen. Some time ago, Microsoft were heavily rumored to be investing in Cyanogen during one of their rounds of funding. Although, that rumor did not turn into a reality, the companies made it clear that they plan to work together much closer in the future. Now during an interview with Cyanogen's outspoken CEO, Kirt McMaster, during the Wileyfox launch in London, McMaster hinted at what might be coming to Cyanogen OS in the future. In short, Cortana.
According to the information, McMaster has noted that Cyanogen and Microsoft are working closely to integrate Cortana into the next version of Cyanogen OS. For those wondering why Cyanogen cannot just include the Cortana app and leave it at that, McMaster notes that for this sort of function, it is the deep integration that will make a difference. According to McMaster, "you need to be embedded into the framework of the OS because that is where you get all the signal from the services that makes that intelligence smarter".
This will not come as much of a surprise to many who follow the Cyanogen news as it has been noted on many occasions that Cyanogen is looking to offer an alternative version of Android which doesn't so heavily rely on Google's native apps. As such, a number of third-party apps (including some from Microsoft) will be integrated with Cyanogen. It seems, Cortana is likely to be the virtual assistant that is offered on Cyanogen OS to remove the need for the dependence on Google Now, while offering the same level of functionality. In the interview today, McMaster hints at as much "integration of Microsoft's Cortana into the OS enabling natural language to power Spotify and other services." Of course, McMaster did not provide any firm details on when Cortana could be expected or in what future edition of Cyanogen OS it could come with. However, it does seem clear that the intention is for Cortana to come as standard within Cyanogen OS is likely to be in a sooner rather than later edition.