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Cortana jumps from phone to desktop with Windows 10 (hands-on)

by Abraham Hoke (2020-01-23)

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class="cnetReview row" section=""> Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana makes her desktop debut on Windows 10 . She's the company's answer to Siri and Google Now, and takes over the operating system's search functionality, tackling local searches as well as helping you track down stuff on the Web. The assistant can also help you stay organized: you can ask her to set a reminder, software akuntansi manufaktur track your flights, and keep tabs on the weather.

6-Things-to-Consider-Before-Purchasing-SCortana is now available on Windows 10. James Martin/CNET If your Windows 10 device is equipped with a microphone, you can just say "Hey, Cortana," and she'll wait for your instructions -- you'll need to turn the functionality on. It might seem a little odd to be chatting with your PC, but if you've got something you want to remember and can't be bothered to grab a pen, it's a neat trick.

You can dictate emails to Cortana, get directions. or find cool things nearby, or simply search the Web. Ask Cortana "What do I have next week?" and she'll helpfully show you all of the events you've got lined up. On the desktop, she attempts to search for documents. Similarly, you can't manipulate calendar events or ask for directions. And many of the questions I asked Cortana on the desktop were directed to Web searches in a browser, though the phone was able to handle them just fine.

On Windows Phone, Cortana is smart enough to set reminders around people. James Martin/CNET Cortana's Windows Phone presence is far more robust -- she even holds her own reasonably well against Apple's Siri and Google Now, two players in the virtual-assistant space with quite a bit more experience. But Cortana's push to the desktop is an important one, as a ubiquitous personal experience will be incredibly useful for you and everyone else. Microsoft has always pitched Cortana's chief strength as being contextually aware: if you ask her "How long will it take me to get to work," and follow up with "How long will it take me to walk," Cortana will understand that the two queries are linked and give you relevant information. The competition will treat those as two separate questions and be confused by the last one.

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