Netflix taps Cortana in new Windows 10 universal app

Netflix releases a new Windows 10 universal app but the update for Windows 10 smartphones is still in the works.

Netflix has released a Windows 10 app that takes advantage of Microsoft's universal apps platform and offers new integration with Microsoft's voice assistant, Cortana.

Microsoft still has a few years to prove Windows 10 will be installed on one billion desktops, tablets and smartphones. With around an 8 percent share of desktops and a shrinking share of the smartphone market, it still has a steep climb ahead.

In the meantime, its universal apps plan appears to be building momentum, with Netflix being the latest to hop on board. It follows Uber's recent launch of a Windows 10 desktop app and refresh to its Windows Phone app.

Netflix published its new Windows 10 app on the Windows Store on Wednesday, which it says is a javascript-based implementation that allowed it to stick to the HTML5 video playback engine it uses for its browser applications.

Although it was built using Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform, which offered it a chance to build from a common code base while targeting different form factors, the initial release isn't so universal in that supports only PCs and tablets first. However, Netflix assured that a Windows 10 phone app is coming soon.

"With the Universal Windows Platform, we're able to build an application from a single code base and run on many Windows 10 devices. Although the initial release of this application supports desktops, laptops and tablets running Windows 10, we have run our application on other Windows 10 devices and we will be adding support for phones running Windows 10 in the near future," Netflix said.

The new app will let Windows 10 users pin the app to the Start menu and access it from a Live Tile, which displays a film's artwork and its in the continue watching list.

Cortana support in the new app will also let Netflix users search with voice commands. The list of supported voice commands include "search", "search for", "look up", "look for", and "find" followed by the name of the title. Cortana support only supports English.

"If a user were to tell Cortana: Netflix find Jessica Jones, Cortana would start the app (if needed) and perform a search for Jessica Jones," Netflix noted.

Other major apps to launch Windows 10 updates in recent weeks include Pandora, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Shazam, TuneIn Radio, Box and Twitter. Microsoft said it recently passed 2.5 billion visits to the Windows Store since the Windows 10 launch.

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