Talking tech since 2003

Every few days, we hear more and more about what Microsoft’s building with the next iteration of Windows, called alternately Windows Threshold or simply Windows 9. Today, a new report on Neowin purports to have detailed information about how Microsoft will very likely bake its personal digital assistant, Cortana, into Windows when it rolls out in preview later this year.

According to the post, tests for Cortana’s Windows Threshold functionality has reached the point where there’s a good chance it will be a definitive part of the new operating system.

“As of right now, Cortana is an app,” explains the post. “It’s a simple app that opens up the personal digital assistant where you can then either type in your question or ask verbally inside a smallish window. It’s not a full screen experience like you see on the Windows Phone […] but takes up roughly 25% of your display with Cortana being in the center; Cortana maintains her circle shape and is animated too.”

The post also reports that all of the updates being made to the Windows Phone version of Cortana are coming to the Windows Threshold version as well. In short, the mobile version will offer the same functions in a desktop environment. It stands to reason, too, that having both a Windows Threshold PC and a Windows Phone handset will allow Cortana on both machines to work cooperatively. If that’s the case, Microsoft will have an excellent argument in Windows Phone’s favor.

Just last week, we learned about a patent awarded to Apple for a desktop version of its own digital assistant, Siri. While we have no reports claiming that it’ll be a part of OS X Yosemite when the final version of the operating system comes out later this year, chances seem good that we’ll see a Mac version of Siri at next year’s WWDC event. If Microsoft can bring its personal digital assistant to PCs before Apple, it’ll have another feather in its cap in its war against its longtime rival.

Personally, I’m in love with using Google Now on my Android phone. If Cortana comes to my desktop OS, though, I might be more tempted than ever to make the switch to Windows Phone. Would you?

[Source: Neowin]

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