The next major Windows 10 update codenamed "Redstone" will reportedly bring a smarter Cortana to the mix, getting the virtual assistant involved with Office apps.
Cortana originally debuted on Windows Phone, launching as Microsoft's answer to Google Now and Apple's Siri. With the launch of Windows 10 a few months ago, Cortana officially made its way to the desktop as well, bringing some great features and functionality to make things more convenient for users.
A new report now hints at more exciting things to come, revealing that a smarter Cortana that knows her way around Office applications will become available with the next Windows 10 Redstone update.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, The Verge reveals that Microsoft is working on enabling Cortana to float around Windows 10, serving as a contextual tool that would appear within documents. This means that you could soon see Cortana make an appearance in the Word document you're working on, in case you need some extra help.
"We're told it's more of a powerful search tool, than an annoying animated character like Clippy," The Verge points out.
The upgraded Cortana should also make it easier to switch between tasks across various platforms, while the Notifications center is also expected to get notable improvements with the upcoming update. Muting all incoming notifications via Cortana will reportedly be in the cards as well.
No specific timeframe is currently available regarding when Microsoft will release the Redstone update, but it will not be this year.
The Verge further notes that Microsoft is looking into integrating Office 365 deeper into Cortana so the services are more readily available, directly within Windows 10. This could be a major break for businesses, as they could use Windows 10 as a hub for projects and have Cortana help around.
On the mobile front, Microsoft reportedly plans to add new Cortana functionality similar to Google Now on Tap. This would prompt the virtual assistant to appear contextually, enabling users to get quick access to additional information or search queries.
Most of the Windows 10 Redstone treats are still in the early stages, but more information should come to light as the company moves forward with its ambitions.