New Windows 10 beta brings Cortana to new countries

The update also brings better reminder functionality to Microsoft's assistant

Microsoft is bringing its virtual assistant Cortana to Brazil, Mexico, and French-speaking Canadians with a major update to the Windows 10 beta on Friday

The new build will allow people in those countries to take Cortana for a spin and test not only the virtual assistant's voice recognition but also its grasp of local culture. For example, the new Mexican Spanish Cortana has an accent to match the local dialect.

These localizations of Microsoft's virtual assistant are just the beginning, and feedback from Windows Insider program members will dictate future changes before they're fully launched, the company says.

Cortana can also now handle reminders that are only partially filled out, so people can ask the assistant to remind them to do something without specifying a time, location or person.

Once a to-do is recorded, users can go into Cortana's virtual notebook and add a parameter to have the assistant remind them of it when certain conditions are met, like the user arriving at a particular location. In a future version of Windows 10, users will be able to call up those reminders on demand just by asking Cortana, without digging though the notebook. 

In addition, Microsoft made a small tweak to the login screen for users who have set a login image.

Microsoft is still working on its Windows Spotlight option, which shows people a computer-selected picture from the Web.

The build also introduces a couple of key problems for users. People who have a Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book may find that their device locks up, and input from the keyboard, mouse and touchscreen doesn't take. In that case, the only way to fix the problem is to turn the computer off and on again using the power button.

People who rely on Kaspersky antivirus will find that their devices on the beta builds of Windows 10 aren't actually protected the way they're expecting. Microsoft is working with Kaspersky on a fix, but in the meantime, people should enable Windows Defender or another third-party antivirus in order to remain protected, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Gabe Aul said in a blog post.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?