Windows 10 Anniversary Update brings Cortana to 13 new countries, adds lockscreen support

Michael Cottuli

For anyone who follows Microsoft, Build is one of the biggest events of the year. The conference serves as a time for developers and consumers alike to get together and listen as Microsoft tells us all of the plans for the future. With HoloLens about to break ground in consumer technology and Microsoft Surface ready to move into its next stages, Build 2016 is shaping up to be an extremely significant event.

Marcus Ash, Group Program Manager for Cortana on Windows, came out on stage to talk about the future of Cortana on Windows 10. While Cortana is already a huge part of the experience of Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, Marcus showed us that the anniversary update is going to be bringing us even more ways that the digital assistant is going to help us in our day to day lives. With the anniversary update, 13 more countries are going to be getting support for Cortana – an expansion of the service that’s going to make the digital assistant much more widespread, making Cortana a more integral part of the Windows 10 experience.

Beyond this expansion of audience, Cortana is also going to be getting support straight from the lock screen. As it stands now, if you want to use Cortana through Windows 10, you need to open up your Windows 10 device and unlock it. When the anniversary update hits, however, you’re going to be able to use many Cortana features straight from the lock screen, before you input any login information. The example shown in the demo on stage showed Marcus pulling out his device, saying “Hey Cortana” to launch the digital assistant, and asking it “How long will it take to get to Sausalito?” Cortana then immediately showed the map from his location to Sausalito, how far away it was, and how long it was going to take to get there by car.