Microsoft Once Again Distances Cortana AI Assistant From Windows 10

When Microsoft launched the Windows 10 May 2019 Update last month to the public, one of the big changes came with how the Cortana virtual assistant is presented to the user. Previously, Cortana and Search were fused together in the taskbar. However, the May 2019 Update separated the two so that they could be further developed independent of one another.

Now, the latest move from Microsoft means even bigger changes for Cortana. A new Cortana app -- in beta form -- has been discovered in the Microsoft Store. With this further decoupling of Cortana, the general consensus is that Windows 10 might not even have Cortana installed by default. If users want access to the Cortana, they will likely have to download it separately.

For Windows 10 users that want absolutely nothing to do with Cortana, this might be seen as a boon to have the app as a separate, optional download.

Microsoft has big plans in store for Cortana, as the company recently announced that it is making huge strides in making interactions with the virtual assistant seem less robotic. This will enable users to have back-and-forth conversations with Cortana that more resemble a conversation you might have with another human.

“Being able to express ourselves in the way we have evolved to communicate and to be able to tie that into all of these really complicated systems without having to know how they work is the promise and vision of natural language interfaces,” said Microsoft corporate vice president Dan Roth in May.

Cortana is available on multiple platforms including Android and iOS, and has even found its way into thermostats.