Microsoft has rolled-out Cortana for Apple's iOS platform to beta testers in a new bid to counter Google Now and Apple's Siri.

Cortana for iOs will be launched as a test version. Among other features, it will be able to accept voice commands, schedule calendar events reminders and track other useful information. At present, the app is only available to a handful of users, mostly beta testers.

Features such as the ability to search Bing, get info on restaurants, get directions, track a user’s interests, as well as open other apps, are available on Cortana for iOS.

TechCrunch reported the release following Microsoft's launch of the beta version of Cortana for Android smartphones last August. And even on Android smartphones, it’s also only available to a limited number of users.

As part of the testing, potential users need to fill out a survey and agree to serve as app testers. Upon accepting it, the company will send an e-mail with a link leading to a download of the app.

The release of Cortana for Android and iOS platform is considered another big step for Microsoft as it spreads its tentacles to other platforms. Users also get a choice and the company can slowly disengage some services apart from company's core Windows operating system product. Microsoft claims the app includes the ability to set Cortana as the destination for the home button press.

Microsoft Office will also be available to users of Android and iOS, and Microsoft recently declared its Cortana Analytics Suite can be used with, which was launched in July.

Microsoft's Cortana voice interface with the company's Power BI technology and machine learning are combined as a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

The Cortana Analytics Suite vows to perk up the management of sales processes through visual presentation and voice-based interaction with the help of both Salesforce and Alpine Metrics. It facilitates real-time recommendations, fraud detection and predictive maintenance, among other uses, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft intends to expand Cortana's reach even further by bringing the digital assistant into the automotive world.

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