Cortana

Windows 10 Technical Preview update: what’s new in January

Windows 10 Technical Preview update: what’s new in January

The first big public - Insiders Only, but still - release of Windows 10 has been ushered in. What we're looking at in short order is the bits and pieces Microsoft has brought to this first Windows 10 download that change from our most recent update to Windows 8.1. This includes the new Xbox app, a new Photos app, a new Maps app, Windows Store Beta, wireless audio and video connectivity, a new Settings app, and - of course - a new Start menu, complete with Cortana and her always-listening features.

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10 things to know about Windows 10

10 things to know about Windows 10

Now that Microsoft’s Windows 10 event is wrapped up, we’re left reeling by all the promise their cross-device single platform holds for us. Also impressive is the scope Microsoft imagines the digital world in, and their new technology on deck. While we were happy to find ourselves learning about Windows across platforms, we also get a lot of great new things to look forward to. From today, here are the top ten things you probable need to know about Windows 10.

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Cortana for Windows 10 demoed on desktop taskbar

Cortana for Windows 10 demoed on desktop taskbar

Microsoft is bringing Cortana to a new place for Windows 10, making certain the public understands that with more than just this one system, your computing service is going to be cross-platform. To do this, Cortana has been shown on the desktop's task bar. This is more like a search bar than anything, replicating what we've seen in the past on Windows Phone 8, here now on the bottom of our screen for desktop machines with Windows 10 - all in cool blue, of course.

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Twitter for Windows Phone lets Cortana in on tweeting

Twitter for Windows Phone lets Cortana in on tweeting

The official Twitter for Windows Phone app has been updated, adding Cortana integration for tweeting by voice, and improving how links browsed on your phone can be shared socially. The latest version, for Windows Phone 8.1 devices only, now allows users to tell Cortana - Microsoft's virtual personal assistant, aka Siri for Windows Phone - to fire out a 140 character message without having to tap it in themselves. It's a welcome improvement, though it remains to be seen whether Windows Phone fans, jaded by the ongoing token saga crippling third-party Twitter clients, will warm to the software.

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Windows 10 build 9901 leak: prettier Cortana, better Modern UI

Windows 10 build 9901 leak: prettier Cortana, better Modern UI

It is still a good month or so before Microsoft unveils the Consumer Preview of Windows 10, formerly known as Threshold, and it will still be a few months before consumers can actually get their hands on it. But if the features and changes that are being showcased in this leaked build of Windows 10, specifically build number 9901, then consumers might indeed want to get their hands on it, in contrast to the rather divisive Windows 8.

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Windows 10 also has Cortana and this is how she’ll behave

Windows 10 also has Cortana and this is how she’ll behave

For those keeping an eye on Microsoft next big Windows release, most might be more focused on the fusion of desktop and Modern UI, but there are definitely a lot of other nifty features that should be making their way to Windows 10. One of those is Cortana on the desktop. Microsoft will be bringing its intelligent virtual assistant to Windows PCs, laptops, and tablets and she (or it) will be equipped with almost all the functionality that has perhaps impressed some users on Windows Phone devices.

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Microsoft shuns Apple for “bigger” Siri in iPhone 6 Plus

Microsoft shuns Apple for “bigger” Siri in iPhone 6 Plus

The Lumia 830 is up to bat this week in a video spot created by Microsoft to hate on the iPhone 6 Plus. This Lumia smartphone takes on the slightly larger iPhone 6 Plus by speaking with Cortana. The screens have been simulated, of course, and the sequences have been shortened - and the voices have been modified so they'll say what fits the commercial. But still, there's comedy to be found here in a war of the personal assistants, one for Windows Phone 8, the other for iOS.

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Cortana speaks Klingon in Star Trek update

Cortana speaks Klingon in Star Trek update

This week Microsoft is launching the Lumia 830 in the UK. At the same time, they’re sponsoring a big chunk of the "Destination Star Trek" convention a London’s Excel center. What better way to connect the two than to update Cortana with a bit of the ol’ Star Trek language modifier?

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INSTEON home automation adds Cortana: Jarvis for all

INSTEON home automation adds Cortana: Jarvis for all

Ever wonder what it’d be like to be Tony Stark, Iron Man with a home automation system that speaks with you when you speak to it? Lucky you, the folks at INSTEON have begun releasing their app for Windows Phone 8.1 for full home automation action - complete with Cortana. This means you’ll be able to interact with your home automation system the same way you’d speak with Windows Phone 8.1’s own friendly voice assistant.

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