In recent news from the perpetual revolving door of Microsoft operating system iterations, the new Windows 10 update titled ‘November 2019’ is now accessible through the MS Release Preview Ring.
Although some describe it as a tweak to the operating system, there are some notable differences in terms of personal assistance.
Those who remember the days of Mr. Paper Clippy and the user urge to kill it with fire will welcome any of these kinds of interface enhancements out of hand.
However, Microsoft’s approach seems to be changing the game on how voice-activated assistance works.
Reporting from The Verge shows that in addition to allowing the File Explorer search bar to scan a OneDrive account, voice assistants other than Cortana will “be able to run on the Windows 10 lock screen.”
This move appears to be part of a greater pattern as reported in January by Tom Warren in that same storied publication.
“Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant has fallen behind Google Assistant and Alexa over the past year, and now the software maker is taking a different approach to the competition,” Warren writes, suggesting that Windows 10 additions may be making the operating system “more apple-like.” “Microsoft has already partnered with Amazon to enable Cortana and Alexa integration, and … it’s now clear that (company leadership) sees Cortana as an app or service that will work across multiple platforms, rather than Microsoft competing in Cortana hardware for consumers. Microsoft will still need to convince Google that Cortana integration is a good idea.”
Making voice assistance like Siri or Cortana into à la carte standalones may be part of the new OS wars as these technologies quickly evolve. Look for more as top companies continue to spin out new operating system changes and decommission old platforms the way they did with XP and other popular individual and commercial licensed operating systems.