Cortana Could Come to Windows 9
If you ever wished you could just talk to your Windows PC instead of using those pesky keys, your prayers might soon be answered. According to reports from Neowin, Windows 9 will borrow the Cortana voice assistant that debuted with Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 mobile OS.
Cortana was spotted in previous builds of Windows Threshold, but Neowin notes that the software's performance is improving towards that of a final build. The current desktop version of Cortana acts as a standalone app, which takes up a quarter of the screen and lets you either type out questions or ask them verbally.
Released in April as part of Windows Phone 8.1, Cortana is Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri. The digital assistant is based on the A.I. companion of the same name from Microsoft's popular Halo video game franchise, and can launch apps, makes calls, send texts and program reminders via voice commands. Cortana stands out by offering context-sensitive reminders, such as the ability to pull up your grocery list once you hit the supermarket, though that feature might not be as useful on a desktop.
Still, voice commands would be a handy addition to the Windows 9 arsenal, and would fit into Microsoft's vision of a unified Windows across mobile and desktop devices. Cortana could be especially useful if it could sync across your phone and PC, providing consistent reminders whether you're at work or home.
Windows 9 is rumored to arrive as soon as this fall, touting desktop-friendly features like an old-school Start menu and Metro apps that can run in desktop windows. An official announcement shouldn't be far away, so stay tuned.