Rumor: Cortana Will Be Integrated into Windows 9 (Of Course)

That Microsoft is throwing Cortana into the Windows 9 recipe should not be surprising; in fact, the move should be expected given that Google already offers Google Now on the PC, and Apple is trying to patent a Siri-like service on OS X. Microsoft, it seems, will need to keep pace.

But what's interesting to read is Cortana's progress in the Threshold development state, as rumors now claim that Cortana will be fully integrated into the operating system when it supposedly launches in Spring 2015.

According to Neowin, Cortana is a "simple app" that Threshold users manually open. The app, once it's launched, doesn't encompass the full screen as seen on Windows Phone 8.1, instead taking up around 25 percent of the screen and residing in the middle. Here the user can type out a question to the virtual assistant, or verbally ask the question if a microphone is installed.

Windows 9 "Threshold" is expected to launch in a consumer preview mode sometime before the end of the year. So far, Microsoft isn't saying a word about the new platform but is somehow unable to keep various builds out of the hands of Windows leakers. The rumor we see today likely stems from one of those builds.

Fans of Microsoft's Halo series will recognize the Cortana name as the artificial intelligence voiced by Jen Taylor. In the real world, she uses Bing's Satori technology, which in Japanese means "understanding." Cortana, which was initially introduced back in April 2014, can answer questions, provide reminders, and use machine learning to virtually "get to know" the end user.

Several months ago, the Cortana team said that the virtual assistant will be updated twice per month. This will likely carry over to the desktop version as well, keeping Cortana up-to-date on both Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 9. The question is, will we see Cortana when the Windows 9 customer preview rolls out in Q4 2014 or when Windows 9 makes its retail debut in the Spring?

Previous rumors concerning Windows 9 claimed that Microsoft plans to rip out the weird Charms bar and put the Start Menu back where it belongs. Cortana for Windows 9 is also expected to be more advanced than it is now. There's even talk that Windows 9 may actually be free for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 customers. Wouldn't that be interesting.

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • ahnilated
    Yet another OS I can pass up.
  • therogerwilco
    Loving the direction of Windows! Hands down, it's pretty awesome.
    Sure, they're adjusting to HOW they need to do it, which people have voiced, but overall, still a better OS for people who want to do more than cruise the net, play angry birds, and record home videos... heh

    Of course Apple tries to play catch up by putting Siri on OSX and trying to get a patent for it. (there's been other versions pre-siri, they shouldn't be able to get a patent)

    Let alone it doesn't matter unless Siri can match the extensibility
  • SirGCal
    Something else I hope is an optional install in the custom install mode... Something else I have no interest in on my desktop.
  • TechyInAZ
    Huh interesting, kind of creepy however that Cortana want's to "virtually 'get to know' the end user".
  • Joseph DeGarmo
    Now how about making the Windows 9 upgrade free to Windows 8.1 consumers? Or at least make Cortana available for download on Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store?
  • kylerjobe
    Too soon for Win9
  • -Fran-
    Man... I really really REALLY wish all these new features would be "add ons" and could be selected for install before actually putting anything in your PC.

  • red77star
    I just don't want Cortana garbage on my Desktop PC. If Microsoft makes it optional fine, if not it is just another OS to skip.
  • bluestar2k11
    If I can make my desktop not look like a mad house gone wrong with ugly tiles, 9 might be interesting (esp if they keep with their typical cycle), but I want to see how it goes first, I wasn't impressed with 8, it has nothing I need in it.

    9 better have excellent compatibility (critical point), some better customization (though that can be done 3rd party if needed) and let me shut Cortana up, I might try it, cortana does sound interesting, but since I'd bet if they bring any of their 1st party titles to PC, it will be locked to 9 and DX12, it might be worth it. MAYBE.
  • mavikt
    What is this? Do they want you to talk to your computer to get something done? On desktop? Like working in an open office landscape isn't bad enough already!