Microsoft announced on Monday that it started rolling out Cortana integration in Skype, bringing its smart AI-based virtual assistant to the company's instant messaging client.
The move to bring Cortana inside Skype was announced last year at the Microsoft Build 2016 conference and followed similar efforts by Google and Facebook.
For example, Google uses the Google Assistant inside the company's Allo app to aid users in their conversations, while Facebook uses a smart assistant named M for Facebook Messenger.
Microsoft is now following their footsteps by adding Cortana, a for more superior product, inside Skype.
Cortana integration means that users will be able to receive in-conversation suggestions based on the messages exchanged with their chat friend(s).
For example, Cortana can suggest preset replies for common questions or sentences, it can suggest nearby restaurants, offer movie review scores, and more.
In addition, Cortana will also be available as a default contact in everyone's friends list, similar to the default Skype bot.
Users will be able to start conversations with the Cortana contact and ask it various questions, similar to how they'd interact with the Cortana voice assistant in Windows, but this time in writing.
From a privacy standpoint, this also means that Cortana will now actively scan your Skype conversations to look for clues. Users that don't want Cortana snooping around should check the application's settings for a way to disable the feature.
Reaction to virtual assistants and smart chat bots has not been favorable from the general public, and the only ones raving about their usefulness are tech-themed blogs. Just like Google Assistant and M, Cortana for Skype will probably see limited adoption, and most likely a lot of backlash from privacy-minded users.
According to Microsoft, Cortana integration for Skype will roll out first for US users of Skype for Android and iOS. Other geographical areas and app versions will follow suit in the following weeks.