The newest build of Windows 10 preview contains some new Cortana settings

Microsoft's latest public build, 9879, of its Windows 10 Technical Preview, contains some settings that show the company is planning to add more integration with its Cortana digital assistant feature.

One of Windows Central's readers sent over a couple of screenshots showing the new Cortana features in the zPC Settings section of Windows 10, which has been set up by Microsoft as a way to test new features they may or may not add to the operating system in the future. One of the selections in zPC Settings, Speech, mentions that Cortana is not configured when setting up text-to-speech in Windows 10.

Windows 10 Cortana

zPC Settings also has a "Cortana and Speech" section in the Privacy sub-folder. It mentions that any personalization data can be used by Microsoft to improve both speech and Cortana features. Windows 10 users who don't want that kind of data sent to Microsoft can click the "Clear" button to delete it from their PC and turn off speech and Cortana from their computers.

While Cortana itself is not yet enabled, this new build does show that Microsoft is planning to add it in a future Windows 10 update, perhaps as part of the consumer preview version that's due for launch sometime in early 2015. Would you use or disable Cortana when it is fully enabled in Windows 10?

Thanks to Daniel for the tip and the screenshots!

John Callaham
  • Yeyy! Wonderful news
  • Ditto, im very pleased she's coming. Although, if im honest the only thing I ever really use her for (with my voice) is 'remind me in X minutes'... These phones seriously need a built in timer! Like every other phone in the entire bloody world! :) and most timer apps don't work properly/reliably if you send the app to the background or lock the screen
  • Cortana on PC and tablet will greatly increase her visibility/usage. Even non-WindowsPhone users will become "contributers" to her data/telemetry making her "smarter/better".(Until they actually make her cross-platform :-()
    The prospect of Cortana on PC is AWESOME, and the potential implementation of her abilities there, I'm sure get most of us really thinking. But there is an even more INTRIGUING PROSPECT.
    What will be interesting to me, and I'm sure many of YOU is how Cortana on PC and Phone will WORK TOGETHER!:-)
  • That's awesome!
    I would love to see her on my PC or the Xbox.  It's a nice gimmick on the phone, but I really don't use her in public, that's kinda weird.
    But at home that would be great, especially for productivity!  When I do some stuff for university, I could just tell her to play some music or to show me information about my study stuff. Or maybe there will be third party apps using cortana, for example for food delivery or so. "Cortana, order 2 No.10 Pizzas from Pizza Hut and let them deliver it at 9pm" Great stuff, I love it!
  • Hope it comes with passive hearing right from the start.!! Will be super cool. Just "Hey Cortana!" and your computer, tablet and phone are listening.!! :D
  • Neowin and Bogdan Papa already covered it!
  • I only read windows central.
  • This ^
  • What's that??
  • And? Who cares...
  • Simpsons did it!
  • I want bacon!
  • And why didn't YOU tip us?
  • I tipped it as in a Neowin's article link..
  • That's not us.
  • This is the most pointless post ever.  Do you realize that multiple magazines cover similar topics?  In fact, I should just subscribe to every blog in the country because no blog is allowed to cover the same thing.   And when CES or big shows come around all the blog writers get in a circle and agree which topic they can cover so that there's no doubles.  I want to know about this stuff too and i don't want to read those other places you mentioned.
  • See.. This is why I don't comment. People are commenting without even Realizing what they are commenting! There are some few place where they write post about Microsoft positively.. Maybe you don't know that. Windows central always covers the latest coverage sometimes it misses but no offence the core experience is missed here(something /sometimes) . And FYI I commented this as an instant intention. That's why I put an (!) in the end of the sentence.
  • Good for them. We should send them cookies.
  • Cortana? When did she come in w10?
  • Not yet, not really.
  • Gotta read the article dude...
  • Definitely would help
  • Awesome!
  • I'm looking forward to Cortana integration in Win10.
  • Great news!
  • Any ETA for the new WC app that will let you filter content? I appreciate what your staff is doing but at the moment it feels a bit like overload and I'd like to be able to only get WP information.
  • Windows 10 is the next version of Windows Phone so you might want to keep that in mind :)
  • That's true, but not an answer to his question John :D. So yeah, is there an ETA for the new app?
  • Maybe it IS an answer. Maybe John is saying wait until Windows 10 for the app to arrive? Wouldn't be the first time a developer ties a release to the next major version of an operating system. This is called Windows central after all. :)
  • Im definitely looking forward to Cortana coming to Win10. Also anticipating her coming to XBox and smartglass.
  • For desktops and certain laptops/tablets will you be able to say "hey Cortana"?
  • I don't see why not
  • Not sure about it because the cpu must support sensor score which usually exists on mobile chips like snapdragon 800. Intel?
  • Actually no. There are other methods that can use speech to activate. is one example, saying "Ok Google" o. The webpage starts Google Now. As much as I hate Google, it proves a sensor core isn't needed to do passive activation. Again, look at Speech Recognition in Windows, you can say a command to make it start listening when its in "Sleep mode". The Kinect is another thing. All done without a sensor core, all working on any Windows device that has a Mic.
  • I agree! x86/x64 CPU doesn't need specialize processor for "Hey Cortana" feature, especially when we're dealing with desktops since you don't worry about power consumption and performance. It would be very disappointing move not to have "Hey Cortana" on all Laptop/Desktop PC and they might surpassed by competitors again. For me I'm excited that where I can just "talk" to Cortana on my desktop PC to perform certain task. Especially when they make the extendebility API on Cortana more powerful and open, it would bring more innovations on how we interact with PC, then the movie "Her" isn't far off (except for true AI).
  • Speech recognition in Windows (since Win7) works that way so I don't see any reason why Cortana won't be able to be activated by voice. It is a definite possibility.
  • So Cortana on Phones and PC's? When you call out to her will both the phone and PC wake up at the same time? Say you ask Cortana to do something on your PC. Will your phone also start and hear the same thing? Sounds like a collision ahead.
  • That depends. I assume that they'll find a solution for that or at least an option to disable voice wake up
  • Like Skype that promised an update to avoid this, but I receive calls and messages in all my devices at same time :(
  • They were able to do it with Skype. I'm sure they can figure this out too. Once you are home the wp Cortana can turn her self off (while you are at home) or better yet both Cortana's can recognize themselves under your MSFT account and ask you which Cortana would you rather use.
  • No they weren't able to do it with Skype. I still get calls and messages on all my devices at the same time. They all have the latest and the greatest version of the OS and Skype installed. Go figure.
  • I tipped Daniel about this with screenshot 2 days ago on Twitter but maybe he didn't noticed.
  • They have a dedicated tip section on WC
  • The files for cortana are already in w10. If you search in your Windows folder for Cortana you get Cortana ddl. It doesn't work yet
  • I still can't find any use for these personal assistants. Too unreliable and time consuming. Besides toying I have never ever found use for it. Perhaps in 6 years.
  • I thought the same....
  • I mainly use Cortana on my phone to avoid having to type so much. It's so much easier to press and hold the search button and just tell her what to look up instead of actually typing everything in. And when it comes to making phone calls, I can use Cortana to look up and call that person with one button press, vs. going to contacts, going to their name, tapping on it, etc.
  • Same here. I use Cortana for everything that it became a habit.
  • Obviously I would use it.
  • This feature is not available on other builds ?
  • I would use the hell out of Cortana on my PC. Cant wait.
  • What are these zpc settings?????
  • You find them in the start menu. Its properly that last in the list. Since it starts with a z :)
    The article states its for future add-ons
  • Thanks
  • The new build is catastrophic, none of my modern UI apps opens, they start, the icon appears on the taskbar, but doesn't show the app window or content.
  • Then that's an issue on your end mate. The new build is a huge performance and bug improvement, so if you have more issues now, your installation screwed up
  • Cortana where are my placeholders?
  • Of course win 10 has cortana, otherwise how it can replace wp 8.1?
  • I don't know but you're Vietnamese, right? :))
  • We need a useless assistant on pc as much as we need it on WP, 0%, let the fanbois begin their attack, 3, 2,.......
  • 1,0 ...
  • Great news, I still love the search in 8.1, I hope that dynamic search is integrated some how
  • You mean hero search?
  • No, because at this rate I will NOT be downgrading to Windows 10. I hate what the preview is showing me as far as how Microsoft envisions Windows' user experience.  Adding Cortana is NOT enough to make Windows 10 acceptable in any way, shape or form.  It is HORRIBLE.
  • Chill out dude. They merely started. All the cool stuff is yet to come
  • Can't wait for Cortana in Windows 10
  • Do you love Cortana ? :))
  • As much love as one can give for a custom-build AI. ;)
  • Anyone who DOESN'T know about or use Cortana will be amazed about what she can do. I tried going without her on 8.0 with an ATIV SE I got from Big Red (*shudders*) and I can't do it. I HATED it. Though I have to reset my phone at least 3x a day, I love Cortana and how smart she really is! Can't wait to see it in Windows 10 ;)
  • Between Twitter and Cortana, everyone is going to forget how to spell. Proof: there was a typo in this message, originally. I had to edit it. 
  • Still not using Windows 10 unless some workaround appears for the new OneDrive selective sync thing. I've got too much shit on my OneDrive to sync it all, and I like being able to browse all my files in other apps, even if they aren't being stored locally.
    Bring back Smart Files!
  • Huh? I can't even open settings!
  • I got a ? I call Microsoft asked about the windows 10 technical preview if we get a copy of it when its done they told me to call back because the was no news on it. Also when u read the about to install it tells u wont be able to use recovery to go back to previous versions of windows so what dose that mean were stuck on trial version till we buy windows 10
  • You won't be able to use recovery (partition) but you can use an installation disk from your previous version of Windows
  • That's the thing my laptop did not come with a disk at all and I got it from best buy
  • Cortana hahahahahahahahaha hardly anyone has it. NOKIA Lumia 635 UK still no Cortana, doubt we'll have it before 10 comes out. Microsoft hshahahahaha what a joke
  • I have Cortana on Lumia 520 usa
  • I have cortana on my 625 in the UK
  • I have Cortana on my 1520 uk
  • I have Cortana on my Ativ S in the UK
  • This ^^^
  • Final y!
  • In the WindowsApps folder in program files you'll find this: Microsoft.Cortana_1.3.1.136_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe
    This contains actually the Search app, but it even holds:
    remindersserver.exe I tried to start one of the exe's, but all of them failed. Only if you call ms-cortana:// in the browser, the search app starts. There should be a possibility to access the reminders app, but I failed so far
  • Great news. If only Cortana would stop showing me Fox News....
  • I'm curious as to why people refer to Cortana as she and not 'it'? I'm guessing that Microsoft will eventually add a male speech option as a preference for those who don't like the female variety.
  • Cortana is a female character in the Halo franchise. Therefore it's a she and therefore she has a female voice attached.
  • I know that, but they're not the same thing. Cortana is a female AI in Halo because the writers chose to write her character that way. Cortana on windows phone is not an independent being capable of making it's own choices. It's a digital voice assistant that just happens to have the same name and voice from the video game, and that's only if you live in the US. It was purely a marketing gimmick that so far has had, imo, very little impact. What happens when MS DO add a male voice option? Is Cortana still female then? The average non-video gamer doesn't know who it is or where Cortana originates from unless you tell them so that's a moot point. I should also point out that the assumption that even all video game players would know is a pretty big leap in and of itself. I say this as someone who uses the UK version of Cortana and I can assure you that the only thing similar between the Cortana found in Halo and the Cortana we have on windows phone is in name alone. :)
  • You're kinda of wrong. Though its somewhat subjective, its similar to how a movie adaptation is exact to a book, or total opposite. It can carry the spirit and storyline of the book, or it can do completely do its own thing and the only thing it'll have in common is movie title and some character names. See: DBZ live action movie So while she is named Cortana and has a female voice, it's halfway there. If MS can carry over her personality and witty remarks (its already there really), along with a the same voice (It is, Jen Taylor) then Cortana. Cortana (Halo or otherwise) like any AI is just software, regardless of how detailed it gets, it'll do what its programmed to do.
  • Text to Speech Native in Windows?! Hoho, it just might replace TextAloud for me...we shall see. If it requires sending data to Microsoft just to read some stuff, then f*ck it. I'll stick with TextAloud.
  • I have Cortana disabled (it has never been enabled) after reading how much data from my phone (in addition to my email, contacts and calendar) gets uploaded to a Microsoft server. It is also turned off in battery sense. But every day I see it using my connection in Data Sense. So I have banned it in all ways possible the user has available to them but it is using my connection anyway! What data is it uploading? This worries me because it is going to be available on Windows 10 for my laptop which houses far more private data I would not want uploaded to Microsoft. When a feature is turned "Off" that should mean off. This makes me wonder about the OneDrive sync and being logged into Office 2013. Are docs during creation auto saved to the cloud before I have chosen to save them in the cloud as opposed to locally? I didn't wonder before but after seeing Cortana I started to wonder. Seeing Cortana use my connection all the time when set to "Off" made me question the parameters and permissions I have in place for everything Microsoft which includes OneDrive and Office 2013. On my laptop I logged out of everything so a sync isn't possible now. Microsoft needs to understand that if I think you aren't respecting me in one area I will disallow you in every area.
  • I want this feature on my PC please:
    Select some text anywhere browser or document.
    Right click.
    Click Cortana read this for me. I really hate to read long articles.
  • What I hope is that Cortana on the desktop ONLY work with Internet Explorer on Win X desktops when it comes to updating calendars with appointments and launching applications.  .
  • Jazzed to see Cortana make it into W10. Always-listening would be my pref. So I'm typing away on the computer and just have to say "Hey Cortana, show me a map of Tokyo on my secondary monitor."  Would love this. Make it happen!
  • My Cortana's speech settings are not working I have windows 10 the language and location is united states but region doesn't seem to enter even if the phone resets and when I turn on Cortana she says speech failures try again later what can I do Microsoft I need my Cortana
  • Even the key board is united states
  • My windows phone