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Brits can now try Cortana on the desktop with new Windows 10 build

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Cortana

Microsoft has published the latest preview build of Windows 10, which expands the availability of the desktop-based Cortana assistant to more countries, including the UK.

Build 10041 can be downloaded by Windows Insiders from today and, for users in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and China, that means the first look at the popular personal assistant.

The software, which is quite different to its iteration on Windows Phone devices, allows users to easily locate apps and files, while making it easier to modify settings and search the web. Previously the beta build was only available to Windows Insiders in the United States.

In a post on the Windows blog Gabe Aul wrote: “Cortana now also works on the desktop in China, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain – in addition to the U.S. For you in these new markets, look for her to help you find the things you need and proactively bring you information that you care about. Currently, Cortana will help you search for apps, settings, and files as well as search the web. Cortana learns your preferences and provides smarter recommendations over time. Cortana is still fairly new to the desktop but we are continuing to fix bugs and add new capabilities all the time.”

Read more: Windows 10 release date, features, preview, download and price

Elsewhere within the update, Microsoft is rolling out improvements to Virtual Desktops, allowing users to drag a window on to a virtual desktop for the first time.

The company has also improved the Start experience by making it easier to drag and drop apps to pin them to the Start menu. The Photos app now features a Live Tile that includes OneDrive snaps, while today's release also squishing a few bugs.

One thing missing from this most recent build is the ‘Spartan’ browser that’ll ultimately replace Internet Explorer within the new operating system.

Those who’re yet to try out Windows 10 won’t have long to wait before jumping on board with the completed version. Just yesterday Microsoft announced its plans to release Windows 10 this summer.

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