We all shout at our computers sometimes. Have you been impatiently waiting for the ability to shout at your PC and have it actually do something, though? After a couple of months of waiting, Microsoft's November major update for Windows 10 brings the Cortana digital assistant to Australian users.
The Windows 10, Version 1511, Build 10586 update that Windows 10 users should start to see appearing in their Windows Update queues is the first major update to Windows 10, otherwise known by its Threshold 2 codename. Along with improvements to Microsoft's speedy, bare-bones Edge browser, better photo viewing in Explorer and tweaks to background features like boot-up times, the November update finally brings Cortana to our notebook and desktop PCs in Australia.
We've been waiting since late July for the voice-activated digital assistant to be released here, although Windows Insiders have had beta access for some time. Cortana learns your name — and even adjusts her pronunciation of it if you tell her — and uses it to remind you of appointments, takes notes that you make, and tracks your location to give you the right information as you need it. The digital assistant integrates with Windows 10's calendar and email apps, as well as plenty of other first-party Microsoft services, to draw this information down.
Natural language processing means that Windows 10 users can talk to Cortana in much the same way that they might already use Google Now on Android or Siri on iOS devices, and have that speech be translated to text and interpreted (hopefully) correctly. As well as Windows 10, Cortana will be a launch feature of Microsoft's Windows 10 phones, the Lumia 950 and 950XL, which are available for preorder in Australia for
$1099 $999 and $1129 respectively and will be released nationwide on December 7.
Have you tried Cortana already? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.