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Microsoft begins rolling out its Scheduler meeting service, plus more Outlook voice features on iOS

Credit: Microsoft Microsoft has been working on creating a meeting-scheduling service since at least 2016. Today, June 8, officials said they are starting to roll out this Scheduler service in English for Microsoft 365 .

Microsoft’s Scheduler enables Cortana to act as the front end for scheduling meetings with people outside of a user’s organization. Microsoft is rolling out some other Cortana-branded capabilities on the voice front for Outlook on iOS, as well, starting today.

Scheduler got its start as an AI-powered bot called Calendar.help . Microsoft rebranded that technology as “Scheduler” in 2019. Microsoft’s goal was to release the Scheduler service in 2020 , but that date was pushed back due to the pandemic.

Scheduler uses Cortana to negotiate a meeting time. The service allows users to use natural-language queries, such as “Find a time for me and Paul to meet for breakfast next week,” to schedule their meetings. The backend service looks up attendee availability and go back-and-forth over email before sending calendar invitations. Scheduler can also reschedule and cancel meetings.

In cases where technology isn’t enough to complete a meeting-scheduling request, Microsoft is going to rely on humans to figure out inconsistencies or required clarifications. “The human assistance that supports […]

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