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Microsoft steps up smartphone push announcing Cortana digital assistant apps on iOS and Android

Microsoft has launched the Cortana personal assistant on rival platforms iOS and Android.

The voice-activated assistant, which is available only on Windows smartphone devices will soon be making the jump to other operating systems, according to Reuters.

The push comes as Microsoft looks to extend its ‘Einstein’ artificial intelligence programme onto other platforms beyond those only running Windows, in a marketing assault on its rivals.

Eric Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft Research, said: “This kind of technology, which can read and understand email, will play a central role in the next roll out of Cortana, which we are working on now for the fall time frame.

“We're defining the competitive landscape... of who can provide the most supportive services that make life easier, keep track of things that complement human memory in a way that helps us get things done.”

The Cortana app will be available for download later in 2015.

The company announced in January that Cortana will be made available across all its devices with functioning microphones upon the release of Windows 10 later this year.

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