Making it easier to stay caught up with Cortana in Microsoft 365

With recent events leading to the world’s largest work-from-home shift, we could all use some assistance to stay caught up with work while juggling personal responsibilities. We’re featuring updates available starting today with Cortana, your personal productivity assistant in Microsoft 365, to make it easier to get time back on your busy schedule and focus on what matters.

Stay on track with Cortana in Windows 10—To help you save time finding what you need and stay focused, we’re releasing a new chat-based Cortana experience in Windows 10 focused on enhancing your productivity. With this, you can ask Cortana using natural language to quickly check your schedule, connect with people, set reminders, or add tasks in Microsoft To Do. You can also find local information, get definitions, and keep track of the latest news, weather, and finance updates with Bing as a Cortana optional connected service. Simply type or click on the microphone button and speak commands such as “Am I free at 9?”, “Find time with Nestor to talk about the budget,” “Join my meeting,” “Remind me to review expenses every Friday at 3 PM,” and more. This productivity focused experience is now generally available in English for customers in the United States with the Windows 10 May 2020 update. In the coming months, with regular app updates through the Microsoft Store, we’ll enhance this experience to support wake word invocation and enable listening when you say “Cortana,” offer more productivity capabilities such as surfacing relevant emails and documents to help you prepare for meetings, and expand supported capabilities for international users.

Stay organized and connected with Play My Emails—To help you manage your time and tasks while listening to new emails and changes to your day, we’re rolling out updates to the Play My Emails experience in Outlook for iOS. You will now be able to ask Cortana to schedule a meeting in response to an email and add an email to your tasks list, making it easier to get things done while you are away from your computer. We have also introduced voice commands and touch targets for sending responses to meeting invitations as well as an option to quickly join an active online meeting or send an “I’m running late” message to the participants. These new task and time management updates are now generally available for customers in the United States with Play My Emails in Outlook for iOS. And, we are excited to confirm that Play My Emails will start to roll out in Outlook for Android in the coming weeks.

Start your day on track with the Briefing email—To help you be well prepared for upcoming meetings and stay on top of commitments, we’re introducing the new Briefing email from Cortana. This personalized brief will appear automatically in your Outlook inbox near the start of your workday, providing intelligent, actionable recommendations of documents for you to review ahead of the day’s meetings and drawing your attention to pending requests or commitments from prior emails that you may want to follow up on. This email will also make it easy for you to reserve “focus time” during your workday for uninterrupted focused work with Microsoft Teams notifications silenced. Briefing is currently rolling out in First Release for Microsoft 365 Enterprise users with Exchange Online mailboxes in English.

Animated image of Cortana Daily Briefings in Outlook Mobile. The user opens a daily briefing, marks a quality report complete, a task complete, and books focus time before checking their calendar.

As a personal productivity assistant that is a natural part of Microsoft 365, Cortana processes data safely and securely to fulfill your requests. Protecting your data and privacy is our highest priority, and we give you control over your data. These new Cortana experiences are delivered using services that fully comply with Office 365’s enterprise-level privacy, security and compliance promises as laid out in the Online Services Terms, and are enabled by default. For a closer look at the user experience and information on admin configurations, watch this Microsoft Mechanics demo. Try these experiences for yourself today and stay tuned for more innovations coming with Cortana in Microsoft 365 to help you make the most of your time.

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Source: Office Blog