On stage at BUILD today, Microsoft announced 141 million monthly active users for its Cortana assistant. This number is slightly off from the 145m rumored to be sent to prominent Alexa developers in order to lure them over for the Cortana Skill launch, which also happened today, but it's an impressive figure all the same.
141 million monthly users surpasses Amazon's Alexa by a considerable margin, considering 3 million Echo units have reportedly been sold as of last month. The big question here, which in an early briefing Microsoft was unable to answer, is how many of those monthly active users are actually speaking to Cortana. Microsoft's figures are for any kind of Cortana use, which includes text, voice, and assistant notifications based on user input. That information may prove useful for developers looking to target Cortana Skills to the largest portion of the user activity type, but for now it's not available.
Either way you look at it, Cortana's significant user base across Windows, Xbox, Android, and iOS is more than a little impressive. Microsoft expects Cortana Skills will put Cortana in a position to better compete with the whole category of digital assistants, and if that figure is enough to convince developers to give this platform a fair shake that monthly figure will likely expand even faster.
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