Hands-on with the new Cortana Show Me app for Windows 10
Microsoft is further extending the "walkthrough" side of its Cortana virtual assistant with a new Show Me app that lets Cortana walk you through common Windows tasks.
Microsoft released a new app that walks users through several common Windows tasks that your average Joe or Jane may not know or be comfortable with doing. Just like the Windows 10 out of box experience, this new tutorial app is driven by Cortana and features step-by-step guides that are easy to follow.
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Let Cortana show you
I've always said that the Cortana powered out of box experience is great because it helps the everyday user setup a new PC. Having Cortana there to help walk you through the process makes that task a little easier.
The same thought process has been applied to the new Cortana Show Me app. The app itself features a rather basic design, with the hope screen showcasing a few common tasks that the user might want to complete, including adding Bluetooth devices, changing your background, checking for updates, and more.
Getting a tutorial started is super easy, you just select one of the tasks, and the app does the rest. The app will begin to load a "lesson", which will see Cortana take control of your PC and complete the task step by step. Cortana will narrate, and move your cursor around the display, interacting with buttons and text fields to show you how to do it.
For example, I wanted to learn how to add Bluetooth devices to my PC, so I fired up the Show Me app and began the Bluetooth lesson. The app took a few seconds to load, and then Cortana began narrating steps, along with controlling my mouse, to navigate through Windows Search and open the Settings app, select the Devices category, ensure that Bluetooth is enabled, and run the "add Bluetooth" dialog box. From there, the user can take control and select the Bluetooth device they want to connect.
The experience itself is relatively straightforward. It's almost like having a real support person remote into your PC and help you with a task (except voiced by a somewhat robotic lady). The user can stop the walkthrough at any time by moving the mouse and taking back control of the cursor.
At the end of the tutorial, the app will ask you to rate how the tutorial went, and you can then start another tutorial or close the app. I assume that over time, Microsoft will be able to add more tutorials to this app, too, as more features get added to Windows.
A glimpse of the future
I'm a huge believer in integrating Cortana into the OS in ways like this. Perhaps we'll see more of this kind of thing in upcoming updates to Windows 10.
The Cortana Show Me app is available for users running the Spring Creators Update. Just head to the Microsoft Store and give it a download! (opens in new tab)
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Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.
I and many other people do not buy a computer, do access MS or Even Apple for that matter cloud services, some of us just buy or in my case build a computer to use the software we want to use. That is why one of my mates keep his windows machines off the net unless he have to update them and he only does that once in a blue moon. He uses a linux machine if he needs to access the net. My computer, is to run video editing software, audio software, graphics manipulation software, 3d software, a office suite to write a letter or two now and again, browse the net, grab some emails, watch some you tube vidoes and that is about it, so why do I need Ms cloud services?
On the older versions of Office you could change the default save folder, someone told me a few weeks back that is not possible now, default is once drive and you have to browse now to save files in any other folder, how true that is I do not know. I only use office now and again at work and that is an oldish version. I have no problem with messing about with the registry, just that we should not have to as for the education version of Windows 10, try getting hold of it and cortana is enabled in it.
Windows was never cloud based until they tried it with Windows 8 and that failed. this is why they are trying again with Windows 10.
If windows 8 had done well, we would be more integrated to the cloud than we are now. I know things change and I get it that maybe some people like to run their life on the cloud, but some of us don't, some of use just like to use our computer as a computer for running software we want to use.
Even on my phone I do not use most of the functions and google assistant , location and other stuff I do not need is turned off. I just want a phone to be a phone most of the time, maybe allow me to send text. I will say one thing, this new Windows 10 update what ever it is eventually called, did not reset any defaults when I installed it on a mates computers as we wanted to be nosy. It did reactivate cortana and we did find out what I posted above is true, it can not be de-acitvated, it could be a bug as the group polices are still there, they just do nothing. Mind we downloaded a version of Windows in ESD format ands had to convert to ISO, so maybe that is why it kept the defaults, if it will do that when it comes via the proper updates channels we will see.