Microsoft wants Cortana to help you shop, with new deal alerts in its Edge browser

Ever since Cortana was first unveiled a year and a half ago, Microsoft has continued to expand the capabilities of its digital 'personal assistant'. She can tell jokes, translate between dozens of languages (including Klingon), and help with technical support - and soon, she may even be able to come to your assistance in your car.

Cortana has also displayed some shopping skills too - back in April, local coupons began to appear for some users in Cortana's notebook on Windows Phone 8.1. Today, Microsoft is making the assistant an even more savvy shopper, with the launch of a new 'Cortana coupons' feature, built into the company's new Edge browser in Windows 10.

This new feature is beginning to roll out as a pilot program in the US from today, and will "notify you of the best coupons Cortana can find for a retailer without you ever needing to leave the retailer's site."

Mirroring similar functionality already available on Cortana in Microsoft Edge when browsing restaurants, if you visit a participating retailer in the new coupon program, a Cortana icon will now appear in the address bar, indicating the availability of special deals.

Tapping on the icon will open up a pane in the browser to display those deals. Microsoft has signed up several major retailers under the pilot program, including Best Buy, Macy's and Staples, and says that more will be added in the months ahead, in partnership with coupon provider Shopular.

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