New rumors of Cortana for Windows 'Threshold' claim it currently runs as an app


A new report on the status of Cortana for the next version of Windows, code name "Threshold", has surfaced on Neowin, with the claim that development of the digital assistant for Microsoft's PC operating system is moving forward towards a possible final integration.

There have been major hints that Cortana would be added to the next version of Windows in the past, according to recent job listings at the company. Today's report points out that Microsoft could still pull Cortana from the final version Threshold but at the moment it claims, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft has put Cortana on the more stable release development schedule for the next version of Windows. It adds that at the moment, Cortana is an app on Threshold and takes up about 25 percent of a PC's display when it is in use. However, the app still has the same animations found in the Windows Phone 8.1 version and can be used by either voice or typed commands.

If Cortana development does gets the full treatment for Threshold, the report says that it will become integrated with the OS as it is currently with Windows Phone 8.1. What do you think about the prospect of Cortana becoming a part of Threshold?

Source: Neowin


Reader comments

New rumors of Cortana for Windows 'Threshold' claim it currently runs as an app


I've read "rumors" of possible gutting of this and that for the next Windows version due to some things not being ready in time. They need to delay the damn OS, if rumors are true until they have as many new features/functions actually working and ready. No more half done products. No more rushing.

Agree. Because they would not make it for release this fall in time for Christmas so why not hold onto it and release come next back to school in August 2015 instead of doing another Vista but then again Microsoft may be a diehard and don't give a poop.

This isn't an app. If it was an app, it'll send us straight to the official Bing website once we tap the search button. It's built into the Operating System.

This is talking about Windows 8.1 NOT Windows Phone 8.1, you would know that if you read the article!!?!

You should be, if Cortana will be in the next Windows.
Cortana development will be faster as more and more users will use it ;)
And hopefully more people get in and help Cortana team

I'm down, I like Cortana.  Might give me a reason to use my standalone mic I've had for a few years now that just sits unused.

I always thought voice would be the next game changing UI element for an OS, especially on the desktop which are the users they need to win back after Windows 8. It also makes much more sense on a PC than a phone - for me anyway I'm fine talking to a computer when i'm in the privacy of my home, out on the street to my phone, not so much. Could be a little less easy in an office however. I do feel MS have two efforts here though, Cortana and Kinect that should be pushed more into the one unifying voice control system for your PC.

I think it'd be key to keep this in Threshold, it'd give it one very obvious diffentiating factor from Windows 8 and also from the competition (Macs and Chome OS). I can see the new "PC vs. Mac" adverts ... PC guy says "computer on, email my brother" .. dictates an email... "; that's good thanks Cortana, send it. Now open Facebook, scroll down, scroll down, show the cat video on John's feed" etc. Mac guy has only just started typing his email...

We actually don't know anything about the pricing of Windows 'Threshold'. Maybe it will be free but we must wait!

That's almost like saying the Nokia Lumia 900 will be getting WP Apollo. Boy, were many people wrong and screwed. Wouldn't make assumptions on pricing and upgrades until then.

There is no way they could possibly do anything about the old WP7 hardware. Computers and laptops (incluing the Surface Pro series) however, need to be veeeeery old to be unable to run the latest desktop OS. It's almost the same for non-Pro Surfaces so they are most likely getting the next version of Windows because unlike Windows Phone, the kernel/core for windows is not changing anytime soon.

your example is really not the same.... next time try harder before making a point like that.
you know the reason WP7 didn't get WP8... which is different since even xp computer can get windows 8 and some work perfectly fine with old drivers from vista.

What's curious is now that there seems to be heavy anecdotal evidence of removing the charms how will we be able to launch Cortana once they integrate it in more. We don't have he buttons like WP so there really is nothing to emulate with software unless they just plan on making the Charms bar persistent instead of removing it kinda like Android does with their stuff. I assume the app is merely a placeholder before its integrated further.

The next version of Windows will be free, but the Windows 9 Ultimate Add-on Pack 2015 for Windows 9 Large Device Edition with Cortana Personal Voice-Interactive Assistant Technology will be affordably priced at $239.95.

Tht would be better as an app so they could update it more often. But have it run in the background. Makes sense to have it as an app unless its ready for the masses. Meaning the world unlike Cortana for wp8.1

does it also apply to the new animations for impressions? because I thought it was added with the gdr1, not server side. but I still don't see them here in my phone, even with gdr1... maybe it hasn't rolled out for everyone.

Microsoft updates Cortana on the background! So there's no need to build "her" as an app! Actually they said that Cortan will be treated like XBOX Music in terms of updates (biweekly)

There is a need to do so, because an early bleeding edge code (Threshold) does not use the production servers of Cortana, but she has to be selfhosted both client-server offline in a staging environment.

While the bulk of Cortana is a web service, you still need that app/baked-in OS hook to make use of that.

It's all about functionality my friends. Would she be able to function without internet connection? Or like wp8.1 & need a connection to do anything..... That's where the app or built in conversation lies at...

Well it's not exactly true. You can tell Cortana to call anybody and you don't need internet. You can tell her to play any music and you don't need no internet, you can tell her to open an app and she don't need no internet. Cortana ain't dependant on the internet for the most basic tasks

I am not a developer, but I am assuming it is easier to develop it as an app and then integrate it later, rather than integrating it from the start and pulling it out before the OS release if there are any delays with the Cortana development.  Hopefully there are no delays and it will be fully integrated like in Windows Phone.

How are they confused?  In order for them to make frequent updates to it, it needs to be an app.  Cortana on Windows Phone is an app, but they did a really good job making it integrated so it doesn't seem like an app.  I suspect the same on Windows Threshold.

Why does it need to be an app? They roll out OS updates every month (Patch Tuesday) and can do so any time they wish.

Not sure it's ready, the 8.1 update 1 really messed up my Cortana. She stutters now, drops words, Bluetooth connectivity is iffy.. I've rebooted a few times, factory reset once, still doing it. It's still beta of course.

That makes complete sense in terms of PC & tablet. Allowing users to choose to use Cortana when they want would be the best route. Hopefully there's not a big battery hit when out runs in the background. Wonder if the Dragon speech to text folks are watching this closely.

Apparently they fix it! I'm pretty sure WPCentral wrote an article about that! Although the 8S won't get Update 1

How about one thing at a time and stabilize it for windows phone. Because I still don't have my WINPHONE 8.1.1 on my HTC 8X

If they worked on one thing at a time, you would still be waiting for Windows Phone 8.  They have a 100K employees, they can work on multiple things at once!

As I am already set up on my PC with a stand alone mic, it would be amazing to simply speak to Cortana like on my WP !!! MOST definitely needs to be part of Windows 9 !!!! No doubt it will

If they're eliminating the charm bar in threshold, that wouldn't make sense to add it to the bar. I like Cortana activating through holding down the Windows button. I mean, what else makes sense?

Privacy is def an issue. Not sure ppl would actually use it. Hardly know anyone who uses voice commands for Kinect or Xbox. And for almost all tasks, keyboard +mouse would be faster.

It's the waiting period, like Cortana..you long press a button (time), the beep comes (more time), she wiggles and woggles thinking (more time) she repeats back what you told yet (way more time). By then, I could have sent a text, read a book, went out to a movie....you get the point. Things need to be sped up, drastically.

I'm guessing you don't know many people who have an X1 with Kinect because myself, and everyone I know who have both, use voice commands all the time. I rarely use my remote anymore. The Kinect voice commands are one of my favorite things about the X1. And this is coming from a very vocal anti-Kinect (pre-launch) person.

Cortana is more than voice command, it's a virtual assistant.  

You know all those things journalists were wetting their pants about regarding OSX and iOS 8 with the whole carry over stuff?  Cortana would be another one of Microsoft's stepping stone to achieve a vision better than what Apple would offer.  As it stands now Cortana can already do context award reminders, picture this being synchronized over the different screens including your TV and PC.  Something like the traffic reminder which Cortana does now on WP, I'd expect when Threshold comes Cortana would be able to tell that I'm using my PC or playing a game on XBox and throw a reminder on my monitor and TV and tell me to leave my house instead of my phone so I won't miss it.  Or that if I'm planning a night out and saw a recommendation on my PC browser, I should be able to drop the address into desktop Cortana and when I get into my car, Cortana would bring up the map and do navigation for me automatically on my Windows Phone.  These are the sort of things that should be achieveable with Cortana being cross platform and synchronized.  

Hell if things executes well Cortana would be like JARVIS from Ironman - in every system which Tony Stark holds and ready to help at any moment.  Apple has nothing on that (they have no cloud no search and no big data) and only Google could offer something similar.

Not really.... things like reminders could be heavily used

ie you're working in some thing and the boss walks up and asks to see you in 15 minutes

and walks away. So you you just say cortana remind me to see the boss in 15 minutes without leaving what you are working on.

Actually your boss already told his Cortana which told your Cortana
which will tell you it just before you need to go...
and the documents that you need are in OneDrive and ready for you and your boss
The workflow is smooooth!

Cool that would be a nice addition to the PC world :) looking forward to hearing more about this. Hopefully Cortana on threshold will also include more markets. Especially in Europe :)
What about a notification center in Windows?

Fantastic news, almost a no brainer on MS's part. She should also be on the Xbox 1 to allow access to her whatever you are doing whenever you need her. Cortana, invite Mike to play Halo etc...

Damn it, I was hoping it'd be always on to something like "ok cortana" or "hey cortana". I WANT IT TO BE LIKE IN STAR TREK...WHY IS IT THAT HARD? (oh and I also wanted it to be semi transparent on my desktop so I can view important info with just one click!!!!)

I think they should stick HER in the systray.. next to the clock... and the audio/volume/speaker thing. Maybe give her a keyboard shortcut like Win+C?

Nice. Would be glad to see that. Its a unique move. Make sure they have certain preview or beta version of using and embracing it totally before alpha version, cause it will be best to take feedbacks from us and enhance it.

i honestly don't get the love for cortana; at best it's a fun gimmick, at worst it's a privacy nightmare. 

i mean it asks for access to "location, contacts, voice input, info from email and text messages, browser history, search history, calendar details and other info."

That is literally everything I ever use my smartphone for. everything. it might assist me a bit, but personally i think the nsa is getting most of the assistance here

It asks for it, meaning you can decline it. When you're setting up for the first time it asks if you want it to go through your stuff, to make you life easier. You can choose yes or no, so I don't see what the problem is.

It's the ONLY Assistant that has a Noteook where you can select what info to retain and what to delete.
You may go get Scroogled or ...

I expect cortana to be omnipresent and omnipotent on all Microsoft platforms, including xbox and wearables. But the fact that it is a separate app annoys me. Not even interlinked with Bing own apps. Weather settings and info is completely separate in cortana amd bing weather for instance. Why cant cortana assume a dictation role in any app using a keyboard, etc. Of course, we r years away from such a tool, but i hope MS is heading that way...

Looking forward to seeing this on my PC! C'mon MS, launch the release preview! I've an unused MIC sitting on my desktop.

The sooner the better. And please bring word flow to Windows as well. The Surface line desperately needs it. Typing sucks.

Yes,I'm hoping WordFlow will show up on Win8 tablets as part of the rumored WP+RT convergence. Would be nice if dictionaries, etc. are also omnipresent so I get the same text input experience on my phone and tablet. I die a little every time I switch from typing on my 920 to typing on my DV8Pro.

Cortana is more than voice input (which is already present on Windows). It's also a digital assistant. I could ask her to make or move a meeting, or ring up someone on Skype without ever leaving whatever task I'm currently working on.

I can't catch up the pace of the era,I still can't believe that artificial intelligence is really coming. and it is not only coming, before I realize it, it's already in our everyday life once Cortana has been integrated into the desktop version of Windows.

Why feel excited?? still dont get the official WP8.1 update. And cortana is limited to some regions. SNAILS CAN MOVE FASTER THAN WP8.1.

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Lack of integration means it's not particularly useful. Cortana as an app on Windows would mean it's no more functional then Cortana for iOS/Android which is a disgrace. Cortana should be a 1st class experience on MS devices.

Makes sense since Cortana is an app also on WP 8.1 (the not-upgradeable kind of app, much like the calculator)

Exciting to see. But I think the most focus needs to be on user interface, usability and user experience. This is the biggest thing hurting Microsoft.

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Nice for the US, UK and China, but I'd rather wish that they wait with cortana for windows threshold (9). Investing R&D in integrating Cortana is a waste of expenses. I think they should head more towards "the courier" project. I can help see paralells of the surface being a long beta project towards the courier device. I applaud the evolutions of the tablet and stylus and vastly improved onennote integration. I think this road should continue to ultimately build the ultimate notetaking device. In my opinion the stylus is the way to go. The hardware is there, software too. But the end-user design needs to get more do more with less. Onenote for the modern UI is a good example of the that. Onenote 2013 is too busy with too many small buttons, with an in your face attitude. Secondly ink-to-text recogntion needs to be an integral feature within the threshold OS. Only then will a user truly enjoy the experience for which the surface and stylus is meant. Right now its still too much boxed in apps and ink pads. Inking and ink-to-text recognition needs to be everywhere in the OS. Inline in the adress bar in IE, inline in the message and emailadress fields and contacts in persons app, general search etc. Finally it should be usable immediately in all languages. The good thing about ink-to-text recogntion in almost all languages is already here, its a goal that can be achieved in reasonable time. This is not the case with Cortana. Currently it can only be enjoyed in English or Chinese. More languages will apparantly be supported, but microsoft is far from certain on this point. People say that Cortana can understand any language, but Cortana is still not available in many global markets. When I look at Siri as a comparison, it can not even understand many words in my language. It's not functional enough, not good enough for everyday usability in real life. What would make the experience of Cortana any different. It's a longterm goal, that is nice on paper, but not a practiacal goal for now. I do however see the stylus and inking across the OS and ink-to-text recognition as sound investment for a functional feature in future surface devices. Sales will go up, because of an allround amazing powerhouse of a product in a small package with an all round great inking experience. Great for education, business, and medicine, great markets of investment. In the meantime the income can be spent to put the Cortana into overdrive in getting multilangual support. Untill the latter is not achieved, I am worried Cortana will flop miserably, because it will merely be forgotton quickly in a few weeks as a kids toy, rather than, (what I believe everyone wants), a Cortana is actually a useful tool in daily life and communication and making your life easier. For some yes, not for all. I am impressed with the Siri technology, I am not impressed with what it can do to make my life more easy and productive in my language in daily life. I am worried it will be the same with Cortana. A big feature that is there, but yet again not.

Oh man oh man. This will be awesome. Cortana has seriously made everything easier for my job. I am constantly telling her reminders for when I arrive at and leave for work. I have never been more organized. Having this on my computers....going to blow my mind.

It would be awesome if Cortana and Kinect would be included in Threshold. Personally I think MS should drop "Windows" branding now and name it "Surface OS".
PS: I am not a fanboy of Apple and Google. I use Microsoft's products and like some of them.

Some suggested that making a long press on the Windows Key "panic button" (as my family calls it) should activate Cortana. That's a great idea for most, but those with the Dell Venue 8 Pro (and any others with a poorly placed panic button) will have issues. Great tablet, terrible placement for that key.

With the recent Siri for mac os x rumors
I hope they do this fast and make it powerful as hell. I would like some Nuance type speech stuff going on

I've been using Cortana so much for my 930. I'd imagine it would be a fantastic addition for both Windows and Xbox.

I hope they don't do a half-ass job on it. It must be well integrated and work flawlessly or it should not be included. No more false starts, please.

They need to get this not only on windows but also on Xbox one ... It would make so much sense on Xbox one! Don't release windows until Cortana is in it. Hell, went not rename Windows to Cortana....

I was wondering if someone could help me....I have a Samsung Odyssey with Windows 8 and I was curious if I will be able to get Cortana on it when it comes out. I understand that you need windows 8.1 and my phone is windows 8. So will there be an update for windows 8 users to update to 8.1.0Thank you for your help if someone could help.

That is cool to hear, that is if you are among the small percentage of people using developer preview. Let's see how all the windows phone users feel about the integration after the official release. Why is Microsoft releasing information regarding the next version when they haven't even released the last. Developers have 8.1, but people like my wife, who is not very pleased with the phone particularly because of the apps, needs something else to appreciate about the os. I would also like to see Cyan released so that I can see how my FitBit band works with the synced feature. This is the same crap I went through with Android.

This would be awesome!.... Cortana on both platforms spells "TROUBLE" for Android and IOS in a digital assistant aspect.