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Meet Cortana: The ultimate guide to Windows 10's helpful digital assistant

Brad Chacos | July 29, 2015
Windows 10's Cortana digital assistant is pretty darn easy to use, but she becomes even more powerful with some tinkering.

Again, check out our "Ask Cortana Anything" feature for tons of additional playful easter eggs.

Cortana will only get better from here

Because Cortana's smarts are based in the cloud, the digital assistant is constantly evolving.

Microsoft has a continued roadmap for her development after Windows 10's debut, particularly her Edge browser integrations.

We have a few suggestions for ways Microsoft could make Cortana even more useful in Windows 10.

We'd like to see an option to have Cortana search "My stuff" rather than the web by default for generic terms, and deliver more consistent supplemental results inside the Edge browser. It'd also be nice if you could opt for more in-your-face notifications for big personal events, and if Cortana did a better job of intelligently filtering the news, sports, etc., that you'd likely be interesting in seeing right now to the top of the at-a-glance card interface.

Cortana can also theoretically be used to start email messages, using commands like "Send mom an email" or "Write an email to Jennifer." Indeed, entering commands like that causes Cortana to surface a "Send an email" prompt, but actually selecting it causes Cortana to pause for a second, then she simply searches the web for the term.

All those gripes aside, Cortana's already proving to be a worthwhile addition to the Windows 10 ecosystem--a truly helpful, personalized assistant that carries over between all your devices. We can't wait to see where she goes from here.

Wondering how else you can squeeze more from Microsoft's new operating system? Be sure to check out PCWorld's guides to the coolest new features you should check out first and the best Windows 10 tips, tweaks, and tricks.


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