Windows 10 to Bring Cortana Virtual Assistant to the Desktop

Windows 10 to Bring Cortana Virtual Assistant to the Desktop
Microsoft is bringing its voice-based virtual assistant Cortana to Windows 10 for the PC.

On Wednesday, the Redmond giant announced that Cortana will be available on Windows 10 desktops as well, apart from Windows 10 mobiles and tablets. Cortana for desktop is designed for PC-specific tasks including searching through the system hard drive for photos, documents.

During the event at Redmond, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore presented and demonstrated the desktop version of Cortana for Windows 10 by saying, "Cortana, we're excited to welcome you to the PC."

In a follow up demonstration of the in-development version of Cortana, Belfiore asked the voice-based virtual assistant to perform some tasks, like "Hey, Cortana. Find me photos from December."

To maintain a level of privacy users can set parameters about what Cortana can and can't do, Belfiore suggested. This includes removing or personalising the information stores about the user in Cortana's Notebook.

(Also see: Windows 10 to Be a Free Upgrade for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1 Users)

Other than that Cortana can be interacted with normal voice queries, just like on mobile devices. Telling Cortana to "Play my music" launches the music app. Cortana will also sync between Windows devices, allowing users to pull up the same information quickly, and see the same customisations.

Microsoft does seem to be putting in efforts to improve the skill-set of Cortana. With the improved version of Cortana for Windows 10 mobile and tablets, Microsoft suggests that it will perform better and will be able much richer information, like flight status. The company also showed screenshots of Cortana for the smaller devices.

(Also see: Microsoft Unveils HoloLens Goggles and Windows Holographic UI)

The company added that Cortana is now available in seven different languages, and it will be initially rolling out to users testing Windows 10 over the next several months.

Cortana for desktop will take the search box spot located right beside the Start button (which now brings up a Live Tile Start Menu) on the task bar. Apart from performing simple searches, Microsoft said the Cortana search box will allow users to search through computer and Web with results popping on top.


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