Windows Threshold: Cortana takes a step forward

Over the past few weeks, Neowin has been slowly uncovering Windows Threshold with tidbits about its distinctive new interface, virtual desktops, Charms bar overhaul and now we are learning a little bit more about Cortana.

Previously, we had mentioned that Cortana was up and running inside of Windows Threshold, and that was true, but the good news here is that Cortana has ‘graduated’, if you want to call it that, from engineering builds to a more stable release cycle. What this means is that Cortana is no longer in the phase where it is ‘let us see if this works’ to a ‘let us push this forward and see if we can ship it’ stage. While it is still early in development, Cortana’s performance on the desktop is improving and looks to be targeted for inclusion of the final release. Obviously at this point, it could still be cut, but the first big hurdle has been overcome.

But how does Cortana work? As of right now, Cortana is an app; 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 Windows Phone.

The app itself currently looks similar to that of 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.

Cortana is expected to integrate into the OS as well, much like she does on Windows Phone, but at this time the deep integration into Windows Threshold is slim but there are plenty of time for improvements.

The cool thing about Cortana is that since Microsoft is updating her functionality so frequently, those features are also included in the desktop version as well. Microsoft has already said that Cortana will be updated at least twice a month which means that by the time Threshold launches, Cortana will be significantly more robust than today.

In other Threshold news, builds are becoming more stable as well, certainly not release or even ‘preview’ caliber, but they are making solid progress. Considering how quickly builds are being pumped out and the progress that is being made, a ‘preview’ release later this year certainly seems plausible. 

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This is the only way, they can smooth up the problem of taking away the charm options. As tightly integrated Cortana can actually perform all the operations as "One Window Operation" . Also it will allow the devices which have hard button for charms to replace with Cortana so user can easily invoke it and still perform similar operations.

Tinfoil hats in 3...2....1....

If people don't like a Kinetic listening in on their XboxOne, why will they want to have their PC listening to them all day? ;-)

Microsoft shouldn't bother including it if it is not deeply integrated. They should instead look to include it in Threshold update 1 - There's no point in releasing a half baked product... refinement is something else.

The app itself currently looks similar to that of 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 most important part.

This is good news actually. A digital assistant that works is something I'm looking forward to. Now if Microsoft would just make this a free upgrade for those us running Windows 8.1 that would be perfect.

For all of you who are complaining it is in app, please understand that it is the first stage of development. Cortana was an app too in windows phone. Integration comes later. And the same thing happened to notifications too.

Not sure why it wouldn't just replace the Search Pane that slides in from the right when you press Windows-S ... seems a logical place for it.

The first thing I am asking:

"Why did Microsoft remove the GUI management for Wireless Profiles and keys? And was that person fired for that decision?"

Now we need news that swipe is coming to the touch keyboard for threshold. Sorely needed on the various tablets we're running 8.1 on atm.

The way MJF quoted this article made it sound like Cortana might be released on Threshold but I'm glad this isn't the case.

Also...

As is the case with Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1, Cortana will be an app, not part of the operating system itself, Neowin's Brad Sams said.

vs.

As of right now, Cortana is an app; 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 Windows Phone.
...
Cortana is expected to integrate into the OS as well, much like she does on Windows Phone, but at this time the deep integration into Windows Threshold is slim but there are plenty of time for improvements.

But-but-but according to the ultimate info leaker, FaiKee, Threshold was cancelled. Cancelled so they can just slowly release all the features from it over Windows Update to 8.1 users.

I'm not lying. The man says it like it's a fact and people see him as reliable? LMAO

Neat, love cortana on my Win phone been using it for months now on the dev preview. I REALLY want it for my Xbox One as well.

As their any indication that the various Cortana's you have on different OS's will share the same info between them? My phone has learned my schedule and interests it would be cool if PC Cortana picked up that info automatically.

I think the success and failure of this will depend on 1) how they integrate it 2) what she can actually do. Having it in its own app sounds a bit restrictive, eg can she still make appointments to my calendar or set reminders from within this app? I would prefer it just be integrated if I select to have it active but as the guy above jokes if they don't let the app shut down the pc and system things like that I fear it won't get much use.

Osiris said,
I think the success and failure of this will depend on 1) how they integrate it 2) what she can actually do. Having it in its own app sounds a bit restrictive, eg can she still make appointments to my calendar or set reminders from within this app? I would prefer it just be integrated if I select to have it active but as the guy above jokes if they don't let the app shut down the pc and system things like that I fear it won't get much use.

I agree with you. I thought it would set in desperate panel on mini start or notification panel maybe... But an app sounds horrible

Firstly your article "link" to "Cortana was up and running inside of Windows Threshold", doesn't even mention Cortana. Secondly what is the source of the information mentiond here?

pratnala said,
"Hey Cortana, shut down Windows"

"Okay Chief!"

I hope it would be tightly integrated, like seeing it in the notification center with news.. But an app.... I'm not sure that will do it...

"Okay cortana, i want edit my photo like a pro, but i dont have any money to buy a software. What should i do?"

"Okay chief, here are link for downloading latest cracked photoshop."

Robot Emas said,
"Okay cortana, i want edit my photo like a pro, but i dont have any money to buy a software. What should i do?"

"Okay chief, here are link for downloading latest cracked photoshop."

Rather, "Okay chief, here is a link for Paint .NET"