Tech giant Microsoft has released a beta version of the updated Cortana app for Windows 10. The new experience features a brand-new chat-based UI that is aimed at giving the user the ability to type or speak natural language queries.
The company is testing a new chat-based UI for Cortana on Windows 10 PCs. The new beta app, which was originally spotted last month, is now available to testers, and it supports text and voice queries, The Verge reported on Friday.
These new updates come just days after Microsoft announced it is changing the look of the Xbox One’s Home screen and how one can control the console via Cortana. Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar and Brandon LeBlanc explained the the new Cortana experience for Windows 10 as is being introduced as a Beta to Windows Insiders in the US.
“Not all the features from the previous Cortana experience are available just yet. As a Beta, we plan to add more features over time with updates to Cortana from the Microsoft Store… Historically, there were quite a few skills that could be used unauthenticated (Bing answers, open apps, Assistant conversations) but this is no longer the case. Only limited skills are currently supported in the new experience. Don’t worry we’ll be bringing back many skills over the coming months,” they add.
In addition to most of the existing Cortana features, the app also supports light and dark themes in Windows, a less intrusive screen for “Hey Cortana” queries, new speech and language models, and better performance.
This new feature is currently being rolled out to Insiders in the US with more regions becoming available at a later date.
This Cortana app is available in the latest Fast Ring preview of Windows 10, build 18945. It would eventually debut to all Windows 10 users in the first half of 2020, the report added.
Earlier this week, Microsoft in a blog post said it is further evolving the way it “support voice commands on Xbox and are moving away from on-console experiences to cloud-based assistant experiences.” As per the company, this means users can no longer talk to Cortana via your headset. However, they can use the Xbox Skill for Cortana via the Cortana app on iOS, Android, and Windows or via Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker to power on the Xbox One, adjust volume, launch games and apps, capture screenshots, and more.”