With the rumored upcoming version of desktop Windows, Microsoft is said to be introducing some major visual changes. One of those changes has been rumored for some time, and that's a new Start menu. However, the second rumor is news to us, and we're beginning to hear that Microsoft may be extending its Cortana digital assistant to the taskbar in new next iteration of Windows, codenamed Threshold.
This is still considered a rumor so it's unclear how likely this will happen. Various sites are reporting rumored features from leaked alpha or pre-alpha builds of what may be Windows 9 or Threshold. Unfortunately, even if new features or UI elements appear in these early builds, Microsoft may scrap them or change the look or functionality when the final consumer release ships, so even if Cortana is confirmed right now we still have no idea how it will look or feel if and when released.
"The location could certainly move or the functionality scrapped, but given how committed Microsoft is to Cortana, we fully expect this feature to ship in some form," admits Neowin, which is reporting this rumor.
Given the positive reception that Cortana is getting, especially being able to predict 15 of 16 World Cup matches accurately, Cortana's more widespread availability in Microsoft's ecosystem may be welcomed by consumers.
Other changes being rumored including a flatter UI, a continuing trend for many platforms including Windows rivals Android and iOS.
Changes to the Start menu shouldn't be too surprising as Microsoft had shown off a preview of what the new Start menu could look like to developers at its Build conference this year. Right now, it's just a matter of timing as to when that new Start menu will arrive.
Are you excited to see a full Cortana and Bing integration on the next release of Windows? What will you have Cortana do for you while you're at your PC or on a Surface tablet?