Cortana, the personal digital assistant baked into Windows 10, is about to get more powerful and even easier to converse with. Microsoft’s building more utility and contextual awareness into Cortana, including more proactive actions where she offers to perform tasks without even being prompted, and putting it all at your beck and call with powerful natural language tools.
A quick pair of demos by Marcus Ash, the group product manager for Cortana at Microsoft, drove home how useful the new skills can be. In one, he asked Cortana to “send [a colleague] the PowerPoint that I worked on last night.” This seemingly simple command is actually deceptively complex; to fulfill it, Cortana has to know what PowerPoint document Ash was talking about, when he was using it, and who the colleague is. Powerful stuff. In another, he asked Cortana “What toy store did I visit during last year’s Build?” to summon a location.
Microsoft didn’t say when the new features are rolling out, but smart money’s on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update’s launch.