Exclusive: Here’s Cortana running on the desktop in Windows 10

Zac Bowden

Exclusive: Here's Cortana running on the desktop in Windows 10

It’s been months since the Windows Technical Preview launched to the public, and we’re still yet to see Cortana running on the desktop. We’ve known about her being present in Windows 10 for a while now, even before the first public build of the operating system, yet we’ve still not seen her in action. Well, here at WinBeta, we’ve got access to Cortana running on Windows 10, and we want to give you a first quick look!

Now, before we dive in, we must stress that Cortana in the state that she is in within our screenshots and video is pre-release, meaning Cortana in this form does not represent the final product. The UI, among many other things are not finished in the build we have access to, so Cortana will look ten times better by the time she is unveiled to the public.

From the get go, Cortana can do pretty much everything the Windows Phone version can. This includes reminders, call people with skype, check my location/maps, play/pause music, launch apps, check the weather and more. Right now, Cortana doesn’t have a personality in Windows 10, meaning she doesn’t answer questions like “Who are you”, however we have it on good authority that she will have this ability by the time she rolls out to the public.

She speaks, and we believe the voice actress is still Jen Taylor, but again, much like the Windows Phone version there are some areas in which she will default to a robotic voice. We had very little problem with her understanding our voices, which is definitely a good thing.

Something that isn’t available with Cortana is a hands free way of activating her. I kept wanting to just shout “Hey, Cortana” to get her to activate as I was doing other things, sadly this function isn’t available. We’re not sure if it will make its way to Windows 10 either, however when Cortana does roll out publicly, it’s something we can add to the Windows Feedback app.

For those who wish to see and hear her in action, we’ve got a video detailing the companion. Check that out above.