Showing posts from January, 2018

Victory in the virtual assistant battle seems to be in sight

The battle of the virtual assistants could be over.  This battle started on the smartphone but progressed, in 2017, to smart speakers and home automation.  On smartphone, your virtual assistant could be activated by voice or touch, answer questions, read email, advise on the weather, provide directions, tell you about your appointments and much more. The technology was based on the idea that consumers are no longer storing their data on their PC or on a memory card inside their mobile phone but in the cloud. In this instance for "cloud" substitute Google, Apple or Microsoft. Apple's Siri was one of the first. It debuted on the iPhone 4S. Microsoft announced the most personal assistant on Windowsphone. The Microsoft entry was called Cortana - after the helper in it's Xbox games series Halo.  Google launched Google Now followed, in 2016, by the Google Assistant . All of these mobile tools could talk to you or you could ask queries. In effect replacing search.


There was a time when every computer had its own operating system. Then gradually, over time, the main computer operating systems got to a smaller number. This became Windows on the PC and server with Mac OS and varieties of Unix/Linux. For most computer users, 90% of PCs ran Windows. When mobile phones started connecting to the Internet a whole fresh set of operating systems turned up including Android (a Linux variant), IOS for iPhone and iPad, Windowsphone for Windows devices. It was recognised that mobile devices would not be using a keyboard and mouse but fingers or a pen-like device. For users, this meant an OS that would respond to gestures. Most people see Microsoft in a poor light compared to Apple. Apple styles itself as an innovator and, in terms of the iPhone, this was true. However, when Microsoft released Windows 8 it had an almost revolutionary aim. It was going to create a PC interface and applications environment that was touch first and worked on mobile. Windows