Microsoft Adding Cortana to Xbox One This Fall

Today's topics include Cortana heading to Xbox this fall, Sprint to enable calls to Cuba, SAS' launch of a fast, new data analytics modeling tool and Intel's acquisition of eyewear maker Recon Instruments.

After Windows Phone and soon Windows 10, iOS and Android, Cortana is making a move to Microsoft's Xbox One video game and streaming console.

Microsoft is working on an update that will completely change the user experience, the company announced during the Electronic Entertainment Expo conference in Los Angeles.

The technology is coming first to Xbox One owners in the United States and United Kingdom this fall, Microsoft said. Similar to the other implementations, gamers can use the voice-enabled assistant to seek out information and set reminders.

Sprint customers can now call Cuba using their mobile devices under a new add-on Sprint Cuba 20 Plus calling plan that is available immediately.

The Sprint Cuba 20 Plus plans offer 20 minutes of international calling to Cuba per month for $10 (50 cents per minute), while additional minutes can be purchased for 70 cents per minute.

As part of the Sprint Cuba 20 Plus calling plan, there are no additional international charges for calling or texting to Mexico and Canada, and there is discounted calling to 180 additional countries.

SAS, long a leader in the field of the data analytics software and services business, is upping the ante in data modeling technology.

The Cary, N.C.-based company on June 16 announced SAS Factory Miner, a new-generation tool designed to speed up the productivity of data science teams.

Factory Miner, set to ship in July, sports a Web-based, drag-and-drop interface that automatically builds and revises very large numbers of models that predict future business outcomes.

Intel is continuing to express its ambitions in the competitive wearable device market with the acquisition of Recon Instruments, which is best known for its Jet smartglasses, which the chip maker initially invested in two years ago.

Intel completed the acquisition June 16, with the vendor not only acquiring the products but also a "talented, experienced wearable computing team that will help us expand the market for head mounted display products and technologies," Josh Walden, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's New Technology Group, wrote in a post on the company blog June 17. Intel did not release financial details about the acquisition.

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