Cortana, Microsoft’s digital smart assistant, is getting updates that will bring new productivity features via a free update to Windows 10.
The update, set to roll out this spring, centers around productivity to help users find the information they want across Microsoft 365, the company announced via a blog post Friday.
One new update is a chat-based user interface that gives users the ability to use either their voice or keyboard to interact with Cortana.
Andrew Shuman, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Cortana, wrote in the blog post that this new feature can help English users better manage their schedule and tasks.
You can speak or type requests to find people or files, or quickly create or query emails. You can also easily check your calendar, set a reminder, or add to your lists in Microsoft To Do:
“What’s next on my calendar?”
“Remind me to send the ‘weekly report’ every Friday at 2pm.
“Add ‘status report’ to my task list.”
Outside of the U.S., the new Cortana features for Windows 10 will include answers from Bing and the ability to chat with Cortana. More features for international users will be available in the future.
The new updates for Cortana also include a tighter security offering that makes Cortana available only when users are securely logged in with work or school accounts before using Cortana.
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Consumer skills like music, connected home and third-party skills will no longer be available for Cortana in Windows 10.
Support for Cortana in older versions of Windows that are no longer supported — like Windows 7 — will end, and Cortana services in the Microsoft Launcher for Android devices will end in April.
“We’re excited about how these updates to Cortana will help you stay on top of things, save time and do your best work,” Shuman wrote. “As we continue to innovate on Cortana in Microsoft 365, we plan to share further improvements in the coming months.”
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