Microsoft Windows 10 latest feature update, officially tagged 2004, is almost ready. Microsoft is currently applying finishing touches to the same. However, the company has made some significant changes to Cortana, the always-on virtual assistant. After significantly scaling down the availability of Cortana on smartphones running Android and iOS, Microsoft appears to have completely delinked the virtual assistant from Windows 10. The changes to Cortana, and as an extension to Windows 10 OS, will reflect from Windows 10 2004 19041 feature update.
Microsoft has been fundamentally altering its voice-activated, internet-based virtual assistant, Cortana, on the Windows 10 operating system. In fact, Cortana no longer appears as a System App. It has been transitioned to a standalone app, which can be independently downloaded from Microsoft Store. The Cortana Beta App, now available on Microsoft Store, appears to have undergone changes in aesthetics, performance, and arrangement of functions.
Microsoft Cortana No Longer In The SystemApp Folder And Transitions To ‘Normal’ App With New Version And Settings:
The Cortana App, which was once deeply integrated with Windows 10 OS, and was an intrinsic component of Windows Search, has been set free. In other words, Microsoft has completely delinked the Cortana app and ecosystem from Windows 10 OS. The difference is so profound that the Cortana App is no longer contained in the SystemApp folder. Instead, it is now transferred to the ‘Normal’ app category.
Incidentally, the Cortana App makes a major jump in version from 1.1911.21713.0 to 2.1912.18729.0. Moreover, there is only one installation under Windows 10 2004 19041.
As part of the transition, the Cortana App can now be downloaded from the Microsoft Store just like any other standalone app. However, only Windows 10 v1903 users will have to download the Cortana App from Microsoft Store, if they desire to use the same. From Windows 10 2004, the Cortana App will arrive as pre-installed. As the integrated Cortana app has now been removed, it can no longer be found under Windows / SystemApps. Instead, Cortana is now amongst all other apps under Programs / WindowsApps.
As Cortana has disappeared from the core Windows 10 Settings, some of the most important settings have migrated as well. Some settings are available directly in the app, and some are linked in the settings. This is due to the fact that Windows 10 will request activation of Speech Recognition for Cortana to monitor and accept verbal commands and requests.
There are few new settings in the new Cortana standalone app:
Suggested Tasks: There are three areas here. Found, Active and History. It is not yet entirely clear what will be retained here.
Word to wake up: Just like in the old Cortana, here users can define how and to which word Cortana should react.
Settings: These have been revised and are now clearer.
Windows 10 2004 19041 To Include New Chromium-based Edge Browser:
A few users who have sampled Windows 10 2004 19041 have reported the OS works and runs a lot better than Windows 10 1903/1909. The major feature update for Windows 10 should arrive in the next few days. The old Microsoft Edge will be replaced with the new Microsoft Edge (Chromium) in Windows 10 2004.
It is certainly interesting to see Microsoft trying to improve the Cortana app, and granting more freedom to the virtual assistant as well as Windows 10 users. Incidentally, the Fast Ring participants are still awaiting the arrival of the feature update. Additionally, several languages are reported to be missing, but they should be included fairly quickly.