While Microsoft has drawn Cortana back from most of the world, the company has continued to develop Cortana as a productivity aid on Windows 10.
In a blog post, Microsoft explained the latest developments to the digital assistant on Windows 10 20H1.
Here’s what’s new:
- To give you an improved companion experience that’s more seamless with your workflows, Microsoft has undocked the app from the taskbar, so now you can move or re-size Cortana like any other app.
- Microsoft has made it easy for you to configure your default input to Cortana via Settings > Talk to Cortana, so now you can choose if you prefer typing or speaking.
- The improved email skill lets you use Cortana to create and query emails:
- “Send an email to <name> letting them know I’m running late”
- “Show me emails from <name>”
- The improved calendar skill lets you create and query meetings:
- “Set up a 1:1 with <name> at <time>”
- “What’s my next meeting?”
- “Join my meeting” (Note: This only works for Teams meetings at this time.)
- The improved Windows skill lets you use Cortana to open apps and adjust settings:
- “Open Paint 3D”
- “Change the brightness”
- Microsoft has made significant accessibility improvements, so Cortana is easier for everyone to use.
Microsoft has also removed some functionality from Cortana:
- Microsoft has removed Cortana support for ‘connect accounts,’ so now your work and personal accounts are two separate experiences based on whichever account you sign in with. If you sign in with a Microsoft Account, you’ll interact with your personal information. If you sign in with a work or school account, Cortana will work with that one. Your chat history will be retained on your local device, and if you use a personal Microsoft account your data will still be visible in the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard.
- Microsoft has also temporarily removed a few Cortana skills that were previously released to Windows Insiders (which may be returned later). These include:
- Bing Instant Answers
- Jokes and other assistant conversations.
Microsoft says the new Cortana will only be available on US-EN (ie US English) with other languages to be added at a later date.
Will any of our readers miss the fun features, or do you love Cortana as a productivity aid? Let us know below.