Introducing Windows 10: Cortana

Much has already been written about Cortana, Windows 10’s new personal assistant. Ported over from the Windows Phone platform, if you’re going to be using Windows 10 on a daily basis you’ll find it to be helpful for managing calendar events, setting reminders, even tracking packages, flight information and so on.

To use Cortana, you can choose to type a query into the search box adjacent to the Start button or, if you have a microphone connected to your PC, click the microphone button to ask using speech recognition. Once set-up, saying “Hey, Cortana” will get your PC listening for a query too.


Asking (or typing) “What’s happening today?” will bring up a list of events you’ve placed in your calendar. Here’s what I’m up to later today…


Click on the search box and Cortana will present a range of information from the web, personalized according to your web searches. As you scroll down the list of content, notice how the Cortana header changes to describe what you’re seeing.


The more you use Windows 10 on a day to day basis, the better Cortana will get to know you and, in turn, the more relevant the content displayed when you click on the search box.

To the left of the Cortana panel, you may have noticed a menu with five icons. Click the hamburger icon (the three horizontal lines – it’s like a hamburger, right?) to expose the full menu.


The Home button simply returns you to the Cortana home screen, with a look at the day ahead and your personalized web content. Notebook is used to help Cortana get to know you. Among a wide range of customization options, you can change the name Cortana uses for you, edit your work, home and favorite locations, add your favorite sports team, news topics you’re interested and more to tailor the recommendations and content Cortana shares with you.



  1. Of course. Digital assistants a la Cortana, aren’t really necessary on the desktop.. Until Siri comes to OSX of course, then all of a sudden, Apple will forever have changed the face of personal computing..

  2. Nothing personal Terry. I’m just a little tired of seeing Microsoft downplayed for every single thing it does, whereas Apple manages to be idolized for every single thing is does. Best regards.

    1. No offence taken! I wasn’t downplaying Microsoft – but rather making the point that users will need to try out Cortana for themselves to see if it’s useful for them. The law of averages says that some will love it, some won’t – a big chunk in the middle won’t mind either way!

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