Microsoft has added a Google Calendar and Gmail connector so you can use the voice-assistant to check you calendar, set reminders and pull up a contact. With Microsoft's assistant accessible through some of the new connected speakers coming on the market, it's a sign that the folks in Redmond don't want to be left behind as Apple, Amazon and Google push ahead with their own digital concierges.
The new connector can be enabled on a Windows 10 PC by clicking on Cortana and then choosing Notebook. Fire up Connected Services and then choose Gmail to turn the new integration on. Cortana on iOS and Android will also be able to hook into the Google Calendar information.
It looks to me that we're still in something of a "gold rush" when it comes to AI and connected services with Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft all trying to battle to lock us into their services in some way. I suspect that, over time, we'll see some of these services merge as it's hard to see a market for all four. In the mean time, each will continue to evolve.
With Apple's purchase of Shazam and this additional feature from Microsoft, we may be at the cusp of an acceleration in that rush to further embed AI services into our lives and workplaces.