Microsoft Corporation introduced digital assistant Cortana to the desktop in January, and now in the latest build of its upcoming platform, it lets Cortana open apps in Windows 10 with voice commands. In Microsoft’s Build 2015, Cortana was showed off with new features, such as, a compact Cortana and its ability to work with third-party apps.
Cortana is the equivalent of Apple’s Siri and Google’s Google Now. It is said that Redmond-based Microsoft Corporation gets its name from Halo, one of the games created by Bungie and later developed and managed by Microsoft Studios’ 343 Industries. Cortana is an artificially intelligent character in the Halo video game series, and was introduced by Microsoft Corporation with Windows Phone 8.1 during its Build Conference last year.
Microsoft Corporation just revealed the latest Windows 10 Build 10120, which Neowin has tinkered. The most notable addition is Cortana’s new dark theme, its compact version and the ability to open apps with voice control.
Cortana can open classic Windows apps like File Explorer and Project Spartan, now known as Microsoft Edge. That is, when the user types in the command, not with voice commands. According to Neowin, the app will open when it hears “Hey Cortana, open Spartan.” It appeared to run well with Clock, Alarms and File Explorer.
Opening an app with a voice command gives the user seconds to cancel the function in case the wrong app is selected. The feature also works on the most recent Insider build for Windows 10 Mobile. When Neowin tried sending email, Cortana said “I can’t send email on this device.” The digital assistant said a similar message when they tried sending MMS.
Microsoft Corporation letting Cortana open apps in Windows 10 with voice control is another step toward Release to Manufacturing for the upcoming Windows 10. Cortana has been receiving several updates in the previous builds as well, such as riddles and daily trivia.
Moving on, Windows Central talks about an unreleased latest preview of Windows 10 meant only for partners, citing ITHome, a Chinese website, as its source. ITHome posted some screenshots from Microsoft Corporation’s upcoming operating system Build 10123. Not for public release, the newest build comes with new features for Microsoft Edge, enhancements to Cortana’s user interface, as well as, Backup and Restore. According to Windows Central, the return of Backup and Restore is something that Windows 7 users will really appreciate.
ITHome took the Build 10123 information from the Windows 10 Chinese version and that the Chinese website is said to be reliable in giving insights about Windows 10 in the past. Build 10123 brings in Cortana’s new UI, which includes a new dark theme, expanding to the main UI. When the user clicks on the Settings page, Search results still show with a white background.
Another additional feature is InPrivate, a browsing mode, which allows users to navigate the Web without being tracked by the local computer. Also in Build 10123 are new options to configure the New Tab of Microsoft Edge, so that when the new tab is clicked, the default content is the one specified by the user. The options available are three – top sites; top sites and suggested content; and blank page. Project Spartan, as some Windows 10 builds still refer Microsoft Edge, also allows users to disable or enable auto fill passwords and forms.
The new builds disclosing additional features and enhancements are continuing to give the public a glimpse of Windows 10, such as Microsoft Corporation letting Cortana open apps in Windows 10 with voice commands and other recent developments. The IT world also learned that Microsoft Corporation will later replace Control Panel with the new Settings app. While the platform’s release is nearing, Redmond is expected to focus more on bug fixing and stability, and perhaps, lesser new features.
By Judith Aparri
Microsoft News: Cortana gets the ability to open apps with voice control and other improvements on Windows 10 Build 10120
Neowin: Windows 10 build 10120, Cortana can open apps
Windows Central: Windows 10 build 10123 screenshots unveils new improvements on Edge, Cortana, and backup
Photo courtesy of Brian’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License