In a small, but significant, change Microsoft has dropped the requirement that users say "Hey Cortana" to call upon the digital assistant when using the Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker. Now, users can just say "Cortana" to light up the speaker and begin making requests or asking questions.
The shortened command does not work for Windows 10 PCs or on Android or iOS (yet).
One potential benefit of being able just to say "Cortana" is it prevents multiple Windows 10 devices possibly from triggering. In saying "Hey Cortana" the Invoke and any nearby Windows 10 PCs (and Mobile devices) could all awake and take the command.
The new ability comes on the heels of many new features in Cortana – at least in the U.S. – including support for Ecobee, IFTTT, and the ability to do things like check for new emails and even responding to them.
Microsoft also hinted during its official Windows Insider Mixer stream that more smart speakers may be coming soon, including to the U.K. For now, we'll have to wait and see.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.