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Microsoft Cortana isn’t dead, it’s getting the most useful update yet

Microsoft has launched a new insider build of Windows 10 and with it comes a new Cortana skill that’ll make it much easier to track down files on your PC.

Thanks to the new Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20270, currently rolling out to some beta testers, users won’t have to spend ages trawling through the menus in order to find that ancient Word document or Excel spreadsheet.

The firm is testing the features that’ll make it possible to search by parts of file names, author names, recent files, and by type.

“You can now use Cortana on your PCs to translate their thoughts into direct actions to open and find files and save time spent navigating to apps/folders to locate and open files,” writes Brandon LeBlanc on the Windows blog.

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So, for example, you could say: “Hey Cortana, opening marketing deck,” “Hey Cortana, open budget Excel from Anthony,” Hey Cortana, find my recent files,” or “Hey Cortana, find my recent pdfs.”

While it’ll be possible to search locally on a PC, OneDrive or SharePoint users can also access their files saved on networks and in the cloud.

Just recently, Microsoft has ceased spreading the good word(s) of Cortana on other platforms, mainly due to the prominence of the Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri ,and Cortana’s inability to put a dent in that dominance. However, it seems Windows 10 users will be reaping the benefits moving forward, as Microsoft deploys the voice assistant in more helpful and specific ways.

It’s great at managing the calendar and setting reminders and alarms, while it can also create and manage lists, help users join Teams meetings and open apps on their PCs.

Right now, the update is available to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel, but it’s likely this feature will make its way to consumers in the new year. Elsewhere the update brings various bug fixes and improvements.

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