Microsoft's Cortana uplifts Skype to take on Google Allo

Microsoft has released a new Skype Preview on Android with Cortana integration to compete against Google Allo.


A long time after its successful presence on Windows platform, Microsoft's Cortana has now debuted on Skype. The latest move by the Redmond company is designed to be a step ahead of competitive messaging app Google Allo.

You can leverage the latest Skype Preview app on Android to interact with Cortana. The integration enables you to ask questions like "What's the weather like?" and get instant answers right within Skype app. It works similar to what Google Assistant offers on its Allo app.

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Major differences from Google's model

While Cortana's integration within the latest Skype app makes it a close competitor of Google Allo, both are distinct in the app market. Firstly, Cortana within the Skype Preview is initially limited to the US region, whereas Google Allo comes with Google Assistant support around the world. Secondly, Google Assistant is powered by a search engine that has more than 64 percent of market share in the US. This is more than Microsoft's Bing, which is powering Cortana and serves a query volume of nearly 21 percent in the US region.

It is also worth noting here that this isn't the first time when Cortana, which was originally released for Windows operating system back in April 2014, has made its way to Android. The artificial intelligence-based personal assistant arrived on Android back in August 2015 with limited access.

Reason for advancement

Skype is already catering masses with over 300 million monthly active users. But at the same time, the VoIP app is yet to attract the young audience on mobile devices. This is one major reason behind the newest Cortana integration. The new advancement would persuade mobile users -- at least some Android users in the US initially -- to start using Skype app. Gradually, those early movers would join the list of active Skype users.

In addition to the Cortana support, the new Skype Preview on Android comes with a Panoramic photos feature that allows you to share your favourite panoramas with friends. The app also has some general performance and reliability improvements as well as an improved sign-in experience.

The new Skype Preview app is compatible with devices running on Android 5.0 or above. You can download its presence directly from Google Play.