Helping you keep your commitments

Windows 10 Cortana

Little by little, Microsoft is expanding its Cortana digital assistant to do new things in Windows 10. One of those new things is the ability to scan your emails for certain phrases, ones that might indicate a reminder would be helpful.

According to The Verge, it’s part of a new commitment option in Cortana for Windows 10 that’s available to Windows Insiders. It’s not all that different than flight and delivery tracking, both of which Cortana already does, but in this case Cortana will set reminders to help you keep commitments you might have promised, like telling your boss you’ll have that financial report ready by Thursday.

“Cortana will look for emails where you’ve said you’re going to do something,” Microsoft’s Marcus Ash told The Verge.

The email scanning for commitments is performed on a local level; data only gets sent to Microsoft if you choose to add a reminder for a particular commitment or event. On the flip side, if you’re worried about the functionality being abused and pushing aside your privacy, you can disable the feature altogether and Cortana won’t peek at your emails.

It’s just one of many ways Microsoft is working to make Cortana more than a novelty or afterthought. In addition to helping you remember commitments, the new version released in the latest Insider build alerts you if you receive a meeting request that runs outside the times you normally schedule meetings.

Both features are available now to Windows Insiders for testing before rolling out to the general public.

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