Cortana has come a long way since first being introduced to the world in April 2014, and Microsoft continues to make regular improvements and additions to the digital assistant’s capabilities. Today, details have emerged on some of the company’s future development plans for Cortana, which are expected to make their way to users as part of its Redstone updates next year.
According to The Verge, citing unnamed sources, Microsoft is looking at ways to expand Cortana’s reach across the OS – indeed, the phrase used in that report states that the company is “experimenting with having Cortana float around Windows 10”, allowing the assistant to appear in documents and applications to provide help as needed.
If that sends a shiver down your spine with memories of the dreaded paperclip, you’re not alone – but the functionality is said to be more focused on Cortana as a ‘powerful search tool’ than an irritating sidekick. Microsoft is also developing features for Cortana on Windows 10 Mobile similar to Google Now On Tap, which enables Android 6.0 Marshmallow users to discover useful contextual information when searching.
Microsoft is also said to be considering deeper integration of Office 365 services with Cortana on Windows 10, with key benefits in mind for business scenarios.
As part of its development efforts for the Redstone updates, Microsoft is reportedly planning improvements to the Action Center, the notifications hub in Windows 10, with more features including “widget-like functionality”. And as part of its efforts to improve task flow across devices, it’s also considering ways for Cortana to assist in processes such as starting an activity on one device, and continuing it on another.