Microsoft is doing what Microsoft does best: what other people are already doing, just worse.
Not long after Google launched Allo, with Google Assistant (it’s like OK Google only exactly the same) integration, Microsoft updated Skype for Android to include Cortana (think Clippy only less helpful) integration.
Previously, Cortana was in her own separate chat within Skype. This latest update bakes Cortana into existing chats, just like Googles Assistant in Allo.
She will ask for location, and IM Conversion permissions, and if you ask why, she’ll tell you why.
Once you’ve done that, you can ask her questions inside existing chats. It doesn’t integrate with your personal Cortana Notebook, and cannot access things like your calendar. At this point I’m not actually sure what she can do.
Having played around with Google’s Assistant in Allo, I’ve come the conclusion that it’s mostly a gimmick. Maybe in the future Google will find a way to actually make it useful, but right now it’s basically just a quick way to share a random joke with your one other nerd friend that actually uses Allo.
Cortana for Skype is a gimmick that’s even less useful than Google’s Assistant. This is actually a chance for Microsoft to one-up Google. If they could find a way to make Cortana in Skype actually useful, and with Skype being available for Android and iOS, that could be a big win for MS. They won’t likely make a dent in iOS iMessage usage, but they could have a leg up on Allo.