While whispers speak of Siri finally going the desktop route, Microsoft might just be first at getting its digital assistant, Cortana, to the PC masses. Cortana is already present as a beta on Windows Phone 8.1 in the US, China, UK, India, Canada and Australia but having it present on the next Windows could prove a compelling feature.
Cortana has proven to be pretty adaptive to users in different locales, with the tech enabling it to properly recognise local speech patterns. Cortana also works in Mandarin in China which will prove a good selling point in a country already inundated with smartphone makers.
The reincarnated, less annoying Clippy?
While there has been buzz that Cortana has been embdedded in the OS for some time, the latest news suggests that Cortana is at a stage where it's working fine enough to be granted a 'go' in the next release.
Unlike its Windows Phone counterpart, desktop Cortana will be an app that will come up when called allowing you to type in questions for it to answer. That unfortunately sounds quite a lot like the digital assistant we loved to hate: Clippy. But the app will not be as obtrustive as its predecessor and will not take up the entire screen like it does on the mobile. The clear distinction between how Windows Thresholdworks on PCs and how Windows will work on a phone is something Microsoft is starting to properly redefine again, which is a good thing.
Cortana is important enough to Microsoft that the company has declared it will be updated at least twice a month and there has been buzz that people are trying to figure out how to get Cortana to work on other mobile platforms including iOS and Android.
With the steady stream of news coming about Threshold, it's pretty much likely the preview release will come sooner than later.