Microsoft recently announced that digital assistant Cortana will be added to the next Windows release. On top of the voice, you will be able to type queries into Cortana. Seams like a good idea right?
I don’t think so. Microsoft doing everything they can without thinking how this will affect user experience. Adding full screen tablet application to their desktop platform is another example of this unified experience approach. Yesterday I was looking at the person who were using Windows 8 laptop, jumping between full screen Outlook and Excel. Each app took all screen and Outlook had extra large fonts and buttons. Every time Outlook appeared, splash screen with glorious animation was shown. How this can be good? I know that’s it is probably possible to show two apps together, but I’m just telling how real people use it. When you open spreadsheet document and email client on Mac, they displayed in separate overlapping windows, you know you can rearrange them instantly. Both windows has the same UI paradigm, the same buttons and fonts so every app feels familiar. Switching between them with alt tab will be much faster than what I saw on Windows. Mac is created with mouse and keyboard in mind and it should stay this way.
Going back to Siri, instead of adding it to the Mac which I’m sure is not technically hard, Apple improved Spotlight and added natural search to it. Exactly what you expect from desktop platform. The experience is different on mobile devices, you often on the move and can not look on the small screen. In this case digital assistant is make sense, not on the desktop when you have much more faster access to your information. Even considering that it is possible to type queries into Cortana, why you need any assistant when you just can open new browser window or calendar or contacts and use this information. Maybe this is good marketing feature but I doubt that many people would prefer using digital assistants on Windows or Mac.