Microsoft announces new voice assistant for Google's Gmail rival, Outlook: Here’s what it does

The emailing platform has got some new voice features so you don’t have to always use the keyboard or mouse to get things done.
By HT TECH
| Updated on Sep 23 2020, 01:49 PM IST
Microsoft Outlook voice assistant features.
Microsoft Outlook voice assistant features. (Microsoft)

Microsoft has long used Cortana as its sole voice assistant get things done not just on Windows platform but on Android and iOS as well. However, it is introducing a new voice-based digital assistant for its Gmail rival, Outlook. 

The emailing platform has got some new voice features so you don’t have to always use the keyboard or mouse to get things done. Searching event, emails, files and more, the feature will be coming to users starting next month (October). “Rolling out in early October, you will be able to initiate a new message, schedule a new event and even connect with a friend or colleague by calling them with voice commands,” said Eugenie Burrage of Microsoft Tech Community.

Microsoft Outlook voice assistant.
Microsoft Outlook voice assistant. (Microsoft)

You can simply tap the mic in the keyword search box and instruct Outlook with a voice command to send an email to a specific person. For instance, you can say “Email Adele that I’m running late” and Outlook will do the job. But that’s not all. “In this example we added a bit more information, Outlook picked up the additional details which informed the Subject about the Budget meeting.”

Also read: Microsoft develops a ‘Virtual Commute’ for remote workers 

It is also possible to schedule a meeting with someone. You can say for instance “Schedule a meeting about Group Meditation with Megan” and the voice assistant will schedule it. In case there’s no context provided for the event schedule, Outlook will default to Quick Sync or Sync with your contact name. “The relevant person’s email fills the People field of the New Event and then picks the next available time slot to meet.”

Microsoft Outlook voice assistant for scheduling a meeting.
Microsoft Outlook voice assistant for scheduling a meeting. (Microsoft)

In future, Microsoft plans to let you make calls as well using teams or via the phone based on the voice commands. “Soon you will be able to use your voice in Outlook to call a specific person. Based on the power of AI and the Microsoft Graph, Outlook will find the person most relevant to you and provide you with options to connect,” said Burrage.

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First Published Date: 23 Sep, 01:49 PM IST
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