Microsoft has major plans for Cortana, the voice-based virtual assistant available on both desktop and mobile platforms. An upcoming feature will enable Cortana to float around the Windows 10 interface, according to a report. The feature will arrive with Redstone, an anticipated update for Windows 10 which is set to arrive in 2016.
Cortana for Windows 10 currently sits on the taskbar, and can be accessed by either using voice commands or by clicking on the Start menu. The company with Redstone reportedly plans to make Cortana more mobile. With the ‘floating’ mechanism, a feature the company is currently testing as per The Verge, Cortana will appear on top of the application you’re currently working on. The idea is to offer contextual features in accordance with the application that is on the background, the report added, like Now on Tap.
The feature, which as per the report is being experimented with internally, will also allow Cortana to control a range of Windows features such as the ability to mute all incoming notifications much quickly. While it isn’t clear if Cortana will work with every single Windows application, the report adds that the company is working on improving Cortana’s integration with Office 365 services. Among the places that could most benefit from the new feature is Action Center.
The feature sounds similar to Google’s Now on Tap, however that’s a mobile-only feature that the Mountain View company rolled out with Android 6.0. It allows users to tap the home button and openGoogle Now while working on any app. Now on Tap also offers contextual search features in accordance with the app you’re working on.
According to the report, Microsoft will rollout this feature as part of Redstone, the reported next major upgrade to Windows 10 operating system. Some previous reports suggest that Redstone will arrive in the second half of 2016.