Today, the desktop version of Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual voice-activated assistant, begins rolling out to Canadian English language Windows 10 Insiders running preview build 10532+.
The update is set to be available in Japan as well as users in both Canada and Australia. Later this year, Microsoft plans to release the desktop version of Cortana to Windows Insiders French language users in Canada, as well as Brazil and Mexico.
While Windows 10 has been generally well received by most users, a major complaint about Microsoft’s new operating system has been the slow rollout of Cortana. Cortana is Microsoft’s version of Google Now and Siri. Cortana will also be available on iOS, Android and Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One Windows 10 dashboard overhaul that’s set to release at some point in November.
Similar to Apple and Google’s competing services, Cortana can be used to navigate a number of features on smartphones, allowing users to send text messages, make phone calls and easily perform searches on the internet, all using simple voice commands. On PC, Cortana is accessed via the search button and is set to feature similar functionality when compared to the mobile version of the voice-activated assistant.
Windows 10 officially launched on July 29, 2015 and has captured 5.21 percent of the total OS worldwide market during its first month of release, according to numbers released today by research firm Net Applications. Windows 7 remains the number one operating system in the world with a 57.67 percent marketshare. Late last week Microsoft also revealed Windows 10 has been installed on over 75 million PCs and tablets since launch.
Cortana is named after the Master Chief’s artificial intelligence companion in the Halo franchise. The Halo series is arguably Microsofts most well-known video game series.