Cortana sure has seen better days. The Windows 10 digital assistant has been through her fair share of ups and downs. But Microsoft looks like it finally has a new vision for the voice platform.
The voice assistant is all set for a huge upgrade on Windows 10.
And these changes are coming via the upcoming Windows 10 May 2020 Update, most of which improve the overall user experience of the service. Some may say that there are a few downgrades here as well, but on the whole, Cortana not only has a new form, but new functionality too.
For starters, Windows 10 version 2004 has moved Cortana over to a separate app that will be updated from the Microsoft Store.
This no longer ties the digital assistant to the OS, meaning Microsoft is free to add new features to it through the year. This is a move very similar to the Edge web browser, which also got freed from biannually updates with new Windows 10 releases once it got separated.
Alongside a new look, Cortana is also getting a new focus, with an improved chat-based experience.
For starters, this new iteration of Cortana offers support for continuous conversations, and is also more deeply integrated with Microsoft 365 services now. All this to make sure that the digital assistant naturally blends into user workflows.
Speaking of workflows, the Windows 10 May 2020 Update undocks Cortana from the Taskbar, and you will be able to move and resize it like any other app.
On the downside, Redmond has decided to temporarily remove some skills and casual conversation from Cortana, but you will still be able to ask her jokes, check the weather, and view answers from the Bing search engine.
And Microsoft is also finally gearing up to offer the service in more regions outside the United States.
The company will offer Cortana in the US, UK, Canada, India, Japan, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Spain.
Also merits a mention that the software titan has not given up on the consumer-focused features for Cortana entirely. While some options have been subtracted, the company says that they may return back in the near future.
Cortana finally sports a new look, after all.