Cortana Gets One Step Closer to a Debut in Windows 8

Microsoft makes another move that could in the end bring Cortana on PCs and tablets

Microsoft officially introduced Cortana in Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview earlier this month, but there are signs that the company might continue the release spree with some new versions specifically aimed at Windows 8 PCs and tablets.

While we've heard from several sources that Microsoft is at least pondering the possibility to bring Cortana on the desktop, an update released by the company this morning hints that at some point, Windows Phone's personal assistant could also launch on new platforms.

The improvements that Redmond rolled out today allow consumers to look for information on Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 using phrases instead of short keywords, so you can basically write down that you “want to uninstall an app” to reach the “Uninstall a program” menu in Control Panel.

Microsoft hasn't yet commented on the possibility of bringing Cortana on some other devices beside smartphones running Windows Phone, there's no doubt that a personal assistant would come in handy on tablets such as Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. Truth is, speaking with your desktop computer might seem a bit weird at first, but again, Cortana might actually be really helpful for some.

Bringing Cortana in Windows 8.1 might actually be the next step for Microsoft to make searching “more natural,” as the company said with several occasions. And here's what the company said earlier today in a comment on the new features implemented in Windows 8.1:

“Have you ever tried to get something done on your device but you weren’t exactly sure what you were looking for? For instance, how do I take a screenshot or how do set-up a printer? Based on the most common tasks people perform on Windows 8, we are taking steps to allow Smart Search to showcase results based on natural language understanding.”

It's pretty clear that Windows 8.1's search option is heading towards a new world where Cortana could also exist, not only to help users find information and keep things organized easier, but also to aid Microsoft compete against its current rivals in the OS world.

Of course, let's take everything with a pinch of salt until we hear something official from Microsoft itself, but there's no doubt that Windows 9, or whatever comes next after Windows 8, is going to be a really interesting operating system, no matter if you're planning to use it on a PC or on a tablet.

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