Leaked Screenshots Show Microsoft's Virtual Assistant Cortana Is Likely Coming To Windows 9

Halo CortanaYouTube/calloftreyarchThe ‘Cortana’ name comes from the artificial intelligence character in Microsoft’s popular ‘Halo’ video game series.

After the Windows 8 largely failed to convince Windows 7 users to upgrade, Microsoft seems to be shaping Windows 9 into a mixture of old and new.

One of Windows 9’s new features could actually be something we’ve never seen on PCs and laptops, and that’s Microsoft’s virtual assistant, Cortana.

Cortana takes after other virtual assistants like Siri and Google Now, and like Apple and Google, Microsoft wants people to talk naturally to Cortana, and has spent a lot of time and effort making the experience feel fluid and comfortable. The more you talk to Cortana, the more it learns about you.

There’s been some early evidence that Microsoft was planning on including Cortana in Windows 9, but recently leaked screenshots show a PC version of Cortana running on a Windows 9 Technical Preview build.

You can check out the leaked screenshots, courtesy of German site WinFuture (via The Verge).

Another screenshot delves into Cortana’s app files.

Though we haven’t seen exactly how Cortana will interact with a desktop user, Microsoft could be planning on integrating the virtual assistant into the Search icon located on the taskbar.

In addition to bringing Cortana to the PC, Windows 9 will likely re-introduce the fan-favourite Start Menu, doing away with the tiled interface of Windows 8’s Metro design.

There’s still no release date or official name for Windows 9 (though we’re guessing Microsoft will stick to a numbered release), but a Windows Technical Preview is expected later this month or early October.

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