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Microsoft takes the fight to Apple on its own home field

Microsoft takes the fight to Apple on its own home field
Microsoft

Microsoft has changed its ways the past few years. Notably, CEO Satya Nadella is expanding well beyond its Windows operating system, including to the cloud, a new Web browser called Edge, and rolling out its new Windows 10 for free, for the first time.

The move is essentially Microsoft's way of acknowledging that billions of people around the world don't use Microsoft phones, PCs, or other devices. It seems to be working, judging by some of its recent successes, like the rollout of Windows 10.

However, a sticking point is still its Windows phones. With just a tiny fraction of worldwide sales, the phones lag far behind Apple iPhones and Google's Android phones.

Which may explain why Microsoft is making nice with the iPhone. At least when it comes to Microsoft's virtual assistant, Cortana, Microsoft is now making it available on iPhones.

Microsoft is testing Cortana on 2,000 iPhones, for now just in the United States and China. The test is expected to last up to 60 days.

Cortana is accessible through Apple's TestFlight app, which lets beta testers and developers try it before it's available to the public. The idea is for testers and developers to help Microsoft figure out bugs before it releases Cortana for iPhones.

Cortana is similar to Apple's Siri and Google's virtual assistant, Google Now. The voice-activated assistants can be used to search for information on your devices, search the Web, or help you make hands-free phone calls, among many other functions.

If Microsoft's Cortana test is successful, this move could be a big win for Microsoft. Apple has an enormous customer base it's not reaching.

In first quarter this year, Apple sold 48 million iOS smartphones around the world, according to Gartner. By comparison, just over 8.1 million Windows phones were sold. (Google's Android was by far No. 1, with 271 million smartphones sold.)

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Source: Daily Mail
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