When Cortana was released as a virtual assistant for Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft couldn’t have imagined how annoying the Halo AI’s voice would become.
Or at least, that’s the opinion of IT techs who install Windows 10 for a living. Based on feedback received from users, Microsoft has disabled the Cortana voice during clean installs of Pro, Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 10. This anti-frustration measure means fewer situations like the one presented below:
However, this won’t affect Home versions of the software. But regardless of what version you have, the voice of Cortana can be re-enabled or disabled at will once installation is complete.
This change will be introduced in the next Windows 10 update, currently codenamed 19H1. It’s due for release in April, containing a host of other features. These include a new light theme, a secure app sandbox feature, updated emoji, and kaomoji and more tweaks to Fluent Design.
Cortana was initially released to the Windows 8.1 phone in 2014 and Windows 10 versions a year later. It was demonstrated for the first time at the Microsoft BUILD Conference (April 2-4th 2013) in San Francisco. Named after the Cortana character from Bungie’s Halo franchise, the narrator is voiced by Jen Taylor who plays her in the games.
This feature has been bundled into numerous products such as Microsoft Edge, the browser that initially comes with Windows 10. She can find opening-hours when on restaurant sites, show retail coupons for websites and or show weather information in the address bar. In late April 2016, the company announced that it would block anything other than Bing and Edge from being used to complete Cortana searches, which raised accusations of Microsoft being anticompetitive.
Cortana can set reminders, recognize the user’s voice without the need for a keyboard and answer questions using Bing. Among other impressive technical features, she can also simulate flipping a coin, recognize music and can determine which bands or artists the user is interested in.
Do you find the Cortana voice annoying? Sound away in the comments!