New Microsoft Cortana beta app launches with latest Windows Insider build

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18945 brings users a new Cortana experience. ― Picture courtesy of Microsoft Cortana via AFP
Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18945 brings users a new Cortana experience. ― Picture courtesy of Microsoft Cortana via AFP

SAN FRANCISCO, July 30 ― As Siri and the Google Assistant lead the market as the most popular voice assistants, Microsoft redirects its own version towards business applications ― a shift exemplified by the most recent beta launch of a chat-based Cortana app.

On Friday, Microsoft officially released Build 18945 of the Windows 10 Insider Preview, offering users a new Cortana experience.

Earlier this year, Microsoft separated the voice assistant from the integrated Windows 10 search tool, later offering Cortana as a downloadable beta application ― an app whose newest version just became available to US-based Windows Insiders late last week.

This updated Cortana beta app provides users with “a brand-new chat-based UI” that can respond to naturally expressed sentences and phrases.

In addition to the features carried over from the previous iteration of the app, like the ability to open apps, set timers, and manage lists all by voice, the new tool is presented as a new, less-intrusive window. It supports light and dark Windows themes, and is better at performing and understanding tasks thanks to updated speech and language models.

This beta version of the Cortana standalone app is rolling out slowly to Insiders in the US; launch to other markets will begin at a later but undisclosed date. ― AFP-Relaxnews

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