On day 1 of Build 2017, Microsoft announced the public preview of Cortana Skills Kit. With Cortana Skills Kit, developers can build skills for Cortana by creating a bot and publishing to the Cortana channel of the Microsoft Bot Framework.
This then works across devices spanning Windows 10, Android, iOS and the lately announced Cortana-powered Harman Kardon Invoke speaker. In total, you can expect to reach as many as 145 million monthly Cortana users.
As a developer, there is not much you have to do. If you have the code already developed for Alexa, the Microsoft Bot Framework, or Cortana VCD, you can quickly and easily use it as the basis for your new Cortana skill.
Here are some of the top reasons to start building using Cortana Skills Kit.
- Cortana uses natural language processing to understand what people want, so you don’t have to code every variation. Whether someone says “I need a taxi” or “call me a cab,” Cortana gets it.
- Cortana can proactively suggest your skill to users at the right moment based on context, like ordering food for a regular lunch meeting, or turning on the lights when they get home.
- Your skills are immediately available to users—they don’t need to download an app or enable skills individually. Anyone with Cortana can become your customer right away.
- Deliver unique, personalized experiences through Cortana’s knowledge of user preferences (with their permission), whether it’s their favorite sports team or the location of their next meeting.
What’s in the Cortana Skills Kit?
The Cortana Skills Kit will allow developers to:
- Leverage bots created with the Microsoft Bot Framework and publish them to Cortana as a new skill
- Integrate their web services as skills and re-purpose code from their existing Alexa skills to create Cortana skills
- Connect users to skills when users ask, and proactively present skills to users in the appropriate context
- Personalize their users’ experiences by leveraging Cortana’s understanding of users’ preferences and context, based on user permissions.
To sign up and start your journey with building skills for Cortana, head to this page