Microsoft Releases Cortana Beta for Android Phones

Today's topics include Microsoft makes Cortana available on Android, an upturn in the PC market is not expected to hit until 2017, Yahoo delivers Tumblr in app sharing and native video ads, and Salesforce Lightning Experience revamps its CRM platform user interface.

Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant technology for Windows Phone and Windows 10, is now available as a beta app for Android phones.

In an Aug. 24 announcement, Susan Hendrich, principal program manager for Microsoft Cortana, stated, "The Cortana app on Android is the companion to your Windows 10 PC, extending Cortana's functionality across any device you carry, everywhere you go." As millions of new Windows 10 users now know, Cortana is Microsoft's Siri-like digital assistant.

Those expecting an upturn in the PC market to happen next year as inventory levels decline, Windows 10 becomes more pervasive and new processors hit the market may have to wait until 2017—according to analysts with IDC.

In a report Aug. 26, the market research firm downgraded its industry forecast, saying PC shipments worldwide will fall 8.7 percent this year due in large part to a continued large inventory of notebooks already on the market and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, which is making systems more expensive.

In its push to better prepare developers for the emerging mobile-first world, Yahoo held its Mobile Developer Conference in New York Aug. 26, where the company announced new functionality in its mobile developer tools to an audience of more than 500.

During his keynote, Yahoo Senior Vice President of Publishing Products Simon Khalaf announced Tumblr In-App Sharing—perhaps the biggest piece of news for developers. With this new capability, developers can let users share their creations with their Tumblr followers with one click.

Borrowing a page from Apple's heavy emphasis on design and usability, Salesforce previewed the new Lightning Experience user interface for its Customer Relationship Management platform.

Company officials say the Lightning Experience interface will make it easier for developers to create apps for the core Sales Cloud and for its corporate customers to add components to the popular CRM system.

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