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This chapter is from the book

Adding to Cortana’s Skills

Cortana skills are new in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, dramatically expanding what Cortana can help you do, and opening the door for developers all over the world to create voice apps and tasks that Cortana can incorporate.

The first skills available in Cortana had to do with travel, finance, and web-based mail—offered by company names you will recognize—but they were quickly followed by skills for music streaming, ticket purchasing, and restaurant reservations. The list of skills keeps growing. You can find a list of featured skills on the Microsoft website at www.microsoft.com/en-us/cortana/skills/featured.

Expanding Cortana’s Skills

The skills are in Cortana’s Notebook in the Cortana panel. To get started, you need to add at least one skill to Cortana’s capabilities.

  1. Click or tap in the Search box or say, “Hey Cortana.”

  2. Tap the Notebook tool or say, “Open the Notebook.”

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  3. Tap or say, “Skills.”

  4. Click the Learn More About link. Windows 10 opens the Edge browser and displays a collection of skills you can install.

  5. Click the name of a skill you’d like to add. A details panel opens about that skill to provide more information.

  6. Say, “Hey Cortana” and read the text just beneath the skill name (in this case, “Ask Fitbit to tell me about my activity summary”).

  7. When Cortana ask for your permission to access data in the skill you’ve selected, say, “Yes” or click the Yes button.

  8. When prompted, click the Authorize button (or say, “Authorize”) to confirm the link between Cortana and the skill app. You can now receive information from that skill by simply asking Cortana about it. In this example, if I say, “Hey Cortana, ask Fitbit to tell me my activity summary,” Cortana tells me how many steps I’ve walked, how many sets of stairs I’ve climbed, and how many calories I’ve burned so far today.

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