Microsoft is building a new Cortana app on the 10th side of Windows 10 and has invited members of Windows Insider, a part of the Windows 10 20H1 development branch, to test it. Today Microsoft officially released an article detailing some of the changes the new Cortana will bring.
Microsoft has tweaked Cortana’s vision to position itself as a productivity aide. According to the blog post, the new Cortana is no longer docked on the taskbar, but can be moved anywhere on the screen. Now you can also use your preferred input method to talk to Cortana, so you can enter or speak after clicking the Cortana shortcut button on the keyboard.
The new Cortana has also made a number of technical improvements, including helping users send e-mail to a designated person or viewing e-mail from a member. Calendar features have also been improved to make it easier to set up meetings or join virtual meetings, although the latter is currently only available for Teams. Microsoft says it has improved its Windows skills to open applications or control system settings. Finally, although the blog post does not specify improvements on Easy Access, there have been “significant” improvements in accessibility.
At the same time as introducing new features, Cortana lost some of its features. One is that users can no longer use the Connect accounts option, so once you log in to Cortana, you can only use the account’s information. Microsoft has also temporarily removed some non-productivity features from Cortana, so it can’t tell you jokes, set timers, or get an instant response from Bing.
For now, the new Cortana app is still available only in English (U.S.), but Microsoft says it will soon expand its availability.