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Cheetah Mobile and Microsoft today announced a collaboration to incorporate Microsoft’s AI-based technologies and services into Cheetah Mobile’s product matrix. As the first phase of the collaboration, Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant will be integrated into Cheetah Mobile’s leading mobile launcher app, CM Launcher, making it the first mobile launcher app to incorporate Cortana. Going forward, Microsoft and Cheetah Mobile plan to cooperate on additional Cheetah Mobile products, such as Cheetah Keyboard.
Through the collaboration, CM Launcher users gain access to Cortana’s wide range of voice-controlled features, while Microsoft is able to advance its core strategy of bringing Cortana to more users and devices. The collaboration also matches Microsoft’s resource and platform advantages with Cheetah Mobile’s strengths in the mobile market.
The Cortana version of CM Launcher is now available as an open beta in the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia. The official version will be released in the above countries in January 2018.
CM Launcher offers thousands of 3D themes, wallpapers and other customization options for Android.
“Partnering with Microsoft fits perfectly with Cheetah’s mission to make the world smarter and power our mobile apps with AI technologies,” said Fu Sheng, CEO of Cheetah Mobile. “CM Launcher is already the market leader in terms of personalization options, but now, with Cortana, we can bring more smart services to our users.”
The integration of Cortana brings several new features to CM Launcher, including the ability to make hands-free calls, create events, read news headlines, translate and search the web. In addition to voice-controlled features, CM Launcher uses Cortana to provide event reminders, nearby restaurant recommendations and news headlines within CM Launcher’s user interface. Cortana also offers cross-device compatibility, allowing users to log into CM Launcher with their Microsoft accounts to receive notifications such as missed calls and incoming messages on other devices.
“Our goal with Microsoft Cortana is to provide intelligent assistance to help people achieve more while doing less, across their work and personal lives. The integration of Cortana and CM Launcher allows more mobile users access to Cortana to help them get things done wherever they are,” said Jordi Ribas, Corporate Vice President of AI Products at Microsoft. “This represents just the first step in our partnership with Cheetah Mobile, as we hope to integrate Cortana into additional apps and launchers in the future.”
CM Launcher will continue to add new Cortana features going forward, some of which will be unique to CM Launcher. Through Cortana, CM Launcher users will also gain access to other Microsoft resources such as Microsoft Office, as well as third-party partner services, including music, movies, ride-hailing and Cortana-connected speakers.
Partnering with CM Launcher allows Cortana to tap into CM Launcher’s large user base. CM Launcher is available in more than 200 countries and regions, including the U.S., India, Indonesia, Brazil and Russia, with nearly 300 million total downloads as of the today.