A PC on every desk, a device in every hand, and Cortana everywhere. With recent news that Microsoft is making Cortana available for iOS and Android it seems that the digital assistant is getting her hands into everything.
At it's first-ever technology conference in Beijing this week, Lenovo has announced it, too, will be inviting Cortana to participate. Working with Microsoft, Lenovo will be releasing a version of Cortana enhanced by a new service called REACHit on its PCs and devices later this year when Windows 10 delivers. In fact, Windows 10 will be required.
REACHit will roll out in beta only when Windows 10 has reached RTM status, which according to recent reports will be sometime in July. To be included in the initial testing, Lenovo has put up a web site where you can read more about what REACHit will offer, and also submit your email address to be considered as part of the beta.
Web site: REACHit beta
Additionally, Lenovo is using the @DOitApps Twitter account to talk about REACHit and provide more information.
While Microsoft continually improves Cortana, Lenovo believes it can do better. And, through the partnership, the hope is that Cortana's capabilities will improve exponentially. One of the immediately proposed improvements is giving Cortana cross-storage and cross-service search capabilities using natural language queries. With the REACHit integration, you'll be able to find content on Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and multiple email clients, as well as tablets and other PCs that are connected to your special REACHit account. This is in addition to the already provided integrations with Microsoft services such as OneDrive. Using REACHit's filtering and querying capabilities you can find files based on geographical location when created/modified, who sent the file, which device you were working on at the time, the last time the file was opened, and even who you were with at the time.
This may sound elementary, but think about it. You're less likely to remember a file name but can always remember who you were with or in which coffee shop you were working when you made changes to a specific file.
Lenovo is a conundrum for most of its competitors. During the last few years, while many manufacturers were blaming Microsoft for a slow moving PC market, Lenovo took the opportunity to continue innovating instead, which lofted the company to leadership in a supposedly dead market.
REACHit will be a Windows 10-only service, provided on Lenovo hardware. The integration utilizes the "Hey, Cortana" feature in Windows 10, where you can configure Cortana to always be listening for instructions. Neither company has proposed that either of these features will be available for PCs and devices for earlier Windows operating systems.