Microsoft releases platform to build company-specific skills for Cortana

In a classic scene from the 1999 cult film Office Space, programmer Peter Gibbons is admonished for attaching the wrong cover sheet to a “TPS” report. Nearly two decades later, Microsoft is unveiling a platform for enterprises to enable the personal intelligent assistant Cortana to complete company-specific tasks, including correctly filing TPS reports.

The Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise was presented Monday at the Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida. The development platform is currently available by invitation only.

“At heart, we are about providing valuable assistance to users throughout their day. That assistance takes different forms depending on where the users are in their day and what they are trying to do,” said Javier Soltero, the Microsoft corporate vice president in charge of Cortana. “It’s important for enterprises to be able to enable their workforces to use Cortana to perform company-specific tasks.”