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  • Cortana officially gets thrown under the bus

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Cortana officially gets thrown under the bus

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      • #2172726 Reply
        woody
        Da Boss

        An amazing Friday blog post from Cortana corporate VP Andrew Shuman: We’re excited about how these updates to Cortana will help you stay on top of thi
        [See the full post at: Cortana officially gets thrown under the bus]

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2172761 Reply
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        Wow Woody that is a whole lot of excitment!!

        We’re excited about how these updates to Cortana will help you

        We’re excited about these updates to Cortana

        We’re also excited to share that there will not be Windows Server 2019 and SQL Server 2019 certifications and basically everything that has anything to do with on-prem will be wiped out

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by wavy.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2172792 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          Hah! I love how he calls them on being “excited” for all of these cutbacks in service. I’ll bet they were excited to give up on Zune and Windows Mobile too. Corporate-speak at its best.

          I wonder how this ties in with the weirdness over Windows search that was a topic a few weeks ago. Don’t they call that “Cortana” too?

          You know, when Windows 10 first arrived, and I saw how smartphone-y the OS looked, it was quite apparent that they were trying to use desktop Windows to force a reasonably sized Windows Store into being, just as they had with 8.x. The uptake of 8 was too low to provide the ready-made market that MS would have liked to promise to potential app developers, but Windows 10’s adoption was not going to be prisoner to petty concerns like user acceptance (which can really get in the way of using your customer base as carrots on a stick).

          I was pretty sure that the gambit was not going to work, and I wished it would hurry up and fail so they could get back to doing what they do well, which is Windows for the desktop PC, unencumbered with unrelated tasks like trying to sell mobile phones, to customers and developers alike. That failure came to pass, yet the presumed return to a desktop PC OS never happened.

          Not long after that, the tech sites were declaring the death of UWP, but the UWP-ification of the OS, like the gutting of the Control Panel in favor of the UWP Settings “app,” has continued without a sign of slowing. The UI is still a half-and-half “zebra” (as Microsoft themselves call it), and the compromises made on behalf of mobile devices, which are completely unnecessary and counterproductive on desktop or laptop PCs, are still in abundance.

          Now Cortana is the latest thing to be thrown under the bus, but I’d guess that things will once again continue as if nothing had changed. MS could be using these failures as inspiration to get Windows back to what made XP and 7 so popular, before there was “Windows as a Service,” but they’re not doing that. Or not very quickly, at least… the news that the tiles may finally be done away with, after failing to catch on for more than six years, but until we see whether that is the case, and what replaces it, it remains to be seen.

           

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.19.4).

      • #2172765 Reply
        mlmarshal
        AskWoody Plus

        Poor bus…..

        There are 10 kinds of people:
        those who understand binary numbers
        and those who don't.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2172766 Reply
        Rick Corbett
        AskWoody_MVP

        Umm… Does anyone actually use Cortana? I admit that my memory is hazy but I can only  remember just the one proponent/advocate here on AskWoody?

        It’s one of the first things I remove from any new Win 10 build. (Thank you, Scripting Gods)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2172885 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Same as Windows 10, Macs now also have a Cortana-like “AI” thing called Siri, which I disbled as soon as I had taken the Mac out of its box and started to configure it to my linking.

          I have never had a need for talking paperclips, and what I do not need, I do ditch. From the previous comment by Rick Corbett ( #2172766 ), for example, it looks like my attitude might be shared by others. Perhaps by many.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

          • #2172930 Reply
            Rick Corbett
            AskWoody_MVP

            Siri? Hmm… I have to put my hand up and say that it’s just so, so much easier to say “Siri, turn off Bluetooth” than do all the nonsense via Settings to turn this battery-gobbler off.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2173382 Reply
              warrenrumak
              AskWoody Plus

              I find this a bit disingenuous — Siri’s constant listening to the microphone consumes significantly more CPU power than a Bluetooth radio that isn’t connected to anything.

              Also, turning off Bluetooth is easily done from the Bluetooth menu.  Don’t need to go into Preferences to do it…..

              connect-airpods-to-mac-from-bluetooth-menu-bar-icon

              Attachments:
        • #2173378 Reply
          warrenrumak
          AskWoody Plus

          I used Cortana for years to keep me up to date on live sports scores.  It’s pretty good at that.  But now that you can just search for a team name through the regular search, like this:

          Annotation-2020-02-29-205917

          I don’t have any further use for Cortana on my home desktop system.

           

          Attachments:
      • #2172842 Reply
        Bundaburra
        AskWoody Plus

        I don’t use, like or want Cortana, and have disabled it (I hope) via this registry setting:

        [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search]
        “AllowCortana”=dword:00000000

        Needs to be re-applied following a “feature” update.

        Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 2004

        • #2172903 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          That and DiasbleWebSearch=1 in the same location.

          cheers, Paul

      • #2172907 Reply
        Cee Arr
        AskWoody Plus

        Sadly I really think Cortana corporate VP Andrew Shuman believes the stuff he is sprooking. IMO he should take a reality check about who uses/doesn’t use Cortana.  That and Windows Search (hidden on my computer) on the Task Bar are just a MS push for Bing/Cortana. Get on with making Windows 10 more reliable, easier to update and give all these call home apps a permanent rest would be my humble suggestion.

        • #2172949 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          IMO he should take a reality check about who uses/doesn’t use Cortana.

          I’d guess he has some pretty detailed information about that, given how much telemetry there is. Telemetry can be good for the consumer (though it MUST have an off switch), which was why I left the basic level of telemetry on when I used Firefox proper.  They didn’t try to force it, so I considered Mozilla’s case for leaving it on and found that I agreed with their goals.  I want them to know that I am using a feature they may be thinking of lopping off (as they do)!  I want them to know how it’s running and where there are problem areas.

          My objection to Windows telemetry is not that it exists.  It’s that there is no master OFF switch (for consumers), and that MS is cynically using it to replace the former paid QA staff.  Detecting usage patterns and feature engagement is a legitimate and worthy use of telemetry, if the user is okay with it.

          I think MS probably does have a good deal of this type of data for Cortana, and that it has played a role in the decisions we’re talking about here.  MS wants Cortana to catch on, so if people were using it on other platforms and for the things they’re removing from it, I think they would stick with it.  If people are not using it and are not likely to start using it, it’s prudent on Microsoft’s part to cut those bits that have failed and save the money.  I just think it’s funny how they are reporting cutbacks as “exciting,” when they are really an admission that a product of theirs has failed.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.19.4).

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2173128 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        It’s 10’s EULA and that which gives MS too much in the way of taking files along with that telemetry that should be more worrisome as that’s rather broad and really needs to be legally restricted.

        But Cortana under the Bus and I’m just fine with that because I’ve only heard that voice on the first boot-up of my new laptop and that’s one of the first things to get disabled as best as possible.  I’m really one for having a hardware based disable switch that removes power from the microphones and camera on my laptop, one that removes power from those devices and is not software managed.  Add the Wifi/Bluetooth chip to that list as well.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2173160 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          I’m really one for having a hardware based disable switch that removes power from the microphones and camera on my laptop, one that removes power from those devices and is not software managed.

          I agree completely with this.  I have mine disabled in the UEFI, but nothing’s as certain as a switch that you can see is off, and without which there’s no possibility of the thing working.  I am not sure if turning it off in UEFI is definitive… I know a lot of software can reach into UEFI and change stuff, by design.  At the very least, it would take malware that knows how to operate the UEFI on my device to turn it on, which is a much bigger hurdle than simply turning it on in the usual way.  (Not to mention that the malware would have to run on Linux, but it’s not out of the question that such a thing could be made.  It’s just that Windows is a much more tempting target.)

          At the very least, I would like to know that it is not possible to activate the camera with the power light still off.  It could be wired to be unequivocal; if the camera has power, the LED is on, but I don’t know how often this actually is done in the real world.  There have been anecdotes about spyware activating the camera without the light being on (which would be desirable if you have, say, an anti-theft program that can see and hear the stuff around the laptop after it has been reported stolen).

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.19.4).

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2173410 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Perhaps applications such as Siri or Cortana might have a place in smart phones, as assistants that help simplify their use somewhat, as long as they do just that, without then telling all about it to the Mother Ship. Or telling the MS anything at all. As to their place in computers, with keyboards, mouses and track pads that allow the use of hands and fingers unencumbered by the smallness of the device and with browsers giving easy and quick access to the Web and to helpful search engines and many other useful things there, I see no need and no place for these talkative agents in those devices, at all.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        2 users thanked author for this post.
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