Cortana comes to Windows 10 with new PC-specific capabilities

Microsoft used its Windows 10 event today to show off some of the new features and capabilities that will arrive with Cortana. The personal assistant is coming to Microsoft's desktop OS and will offer consumers a new way to interact with not only apps installed by the web too.

Joe Belfiore took to the stage to talk about some of the new features implemented by the team with Cortana on Windows, which include:

  • 7 new languages
  • Ability to do impressions (how quick at searching, you are)
  • Can hunt down and locate news
  • Type what you wish to search for (just like the current iteration of search on Windows 8.1)

As seen in the photo above, Cortana will be easily accessed on the desktop, sitting next to the Start button in the task bar. The personal assistant will occasionally show information in notifications and will always be listening to hear any commands.

Cortana Windows 10

Of course, Cortana can be trusted and will learn more about you, the more information you happen to want to share. Utilizing the personalized notebook (hello, Windows Phone owners!), Cortana will be able to use details provided by the user to offer a unique experience. Much like the phone version of the assistant, this is completely configurable.

Think of this as Cortana, like on your Windows Phone, but on your tablet, laptop and desktop PC. There are a variety of new PC-specific features too, including (but not limited to):

  • Searching files on local storage hard drives, OneDrive and OneDrive for business
  • Search through photos using dates and other filters ("Show me photos from December")
  • Everything is tuned for muscle memory
  • Cortana understands apps on the local device, as well as content in the Windows Store
  • Dictate to send emails, much like firing off SMS on Windows Phones

The above features also work via keyboard commands, as well as simply asking Cortana. The choice is yours. If you're a Windows Insider, you'll be able to enjoy these new features that Cortana will bring to Windows 10 over the next several months.

Be sure to remain tuned to our feeds for more unveiled features!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • PC-Specific? Are you kidding me? If these features come to phone also, it would be much appreciated than ever.
  • Yes, still waiting for cortana on my phone...
  • Neat :)
  • Omg! It's awesome!
  • enough now cortana makes the windows the complete way of productivity im proud of Microsoft.
  • I just hope they have figured out punctuation for dictation.  That's still a bit of a s**t show on WP8.
  • Don't know if you saw the live stream, but when composing an email, Joe B said "comma" where he wanted a comma. I also noticed that after composing he had more options that you currently get when composing a text on windows phone - The new one was "Change Something", which sounds to me like the feature in software like Dragon Dictate that lets you say things like "Change rot to not" or "Add a comma after rot" etc. It does look like they are making strides with it. It's annoying when Cortana gets a single word wrong, but I have to re-say that entire section of the message.
  • I missed that part of the keynote.  Those sound like the exact advances that have been needed to make voice dictaion pleasurable rather than just usefull.  Thanks for the detailed response!
  • 520
  • Lovely Smart Cortana!
  • Still not enough integration between pc and phone, Microsoft can do better. I don't care if it is just a matter of time, just throw 1000 software engineers in there
  • Do you mean things like being able to read your SMS messages on your PC, send them from the PC etc? If so, that is something I'm also looking for them to introduce - If the messaging app is a Universal app this would be completely possible.
  • What languages?
  • Yeah, what languages??
  • Hope we can text from our computers via cortana and/or app!!!
  • Out of all the features cortana is showing, and the fact that microsoft has  a global distribution and usage mode in mind, the greatest feature I'm still waiting for is global language support. That cortana now has a database is an achievement, but for Cortana to be a main feature of windows 10, there is still a long way to go. Cortana is impressive, but currently not very useful on a global scale, becuase for that Cortana needs to understand far more languages and intonations and sounds. The sentiment I have is that Cortana is not a productive and important feature at this time. The solution: microsoft needs to make a big investment of supporting more languages. Period.
  • That will be a very strong point. I love Cortana on my phone. Best thing since I use smartphone
  • Other than reading my emails while I'm driving, voice assistants do nothing for me. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android on my BlackBerry Passport