Microsoft has big plans for Windows 10, with a new version of the Cortana voice assistant that promises to be far more powerful. The Verge, citing sources, revealed Thursday Microsoft is considering deep integration between Cortana and the Office 365 suite where the assistant would be able to suggest useful information for in-progress projects and identify the current person working on a document.
The changes are said to form part of "Redstone," the codename for Microsoft's next wave of Windows 10 updates. The company is planning to update Windows on a more regular basis, and Redstone will be one of the first major updates to the system since its launch.
Cortana may also transition from life in the taskbar, permanently visible at the bottom of the screen, to a floating assistant in Redstone. Microsoft sources explained this would not be a return to the days of Clippy, the personal assistant introduced with Office 97 that was strongly criticized.
The assistant may also form the basis of a previously leaked feature that would allow users to continue tasks started on their phones and finish them on their desktops. An earlier report said Microsoft is aiming for Windows 10 to become more of a hub for the various technologies in a user's life, and integrating the user's mobile and desktop work through Cortana would be one way of achieving this.
Beyond the leaked Redstone plans, the company has previously announced in public that extension support is coming for the Microsoft Edge browser. The Windows 10 browser launched without extension support, something Safari and Chrome long have offered. Some of the first details leaked Tuesday on Twitter when a site introducing the feature accidentally went live. Extensions spotted on the prematurely launched landing page included Reddit and Pinterest.
The Build conference March 30 may be one of the first chances to see what Microsoft has in store for Windows. The event is expected to cover "the future of Microsoft and technology," according to Steven Guggenheimer, Microsoft's vice president of developer experience and evangelism. It may be the event where all becomes clear about what exactly is in store for Windows.