Windows 10 Consumer Preview to Debut January 2015

John Lister's picture

The first consumer features of Windows 10 -- albeit very much still in test mode -- may be just a few weeks away from public unveiling. Recent leaks suggest that the virtual assistant Cortana may be extremely prominent in the new system. Cortana is a voice recognition feature already present in Windows Phones and works somewhat similar to Apple's Siri and Google Now.

The Windows 10 Consumer Edition Preview is expected to officially roll out to public testers in late January, 2015; some analysts suggest it will likely be on January 21st, as that is the date of Microsoft's next press event. (Source:

Cortana Makes The Leap From Windows Phones

On phones, Cortana is designed as a personal assistant. In effect, Cortana is designed to be a more intelligent and "human" version of search tools which today are typically carried out with a keyboard and online search engine, such as Google.

The big selling point on Windows smartphones is the ability to use voice commands using Cortana, with users asking questions in their natural language. With each query, Cortana uses both Internet searches and the user's own phone data to produce more calculated and personalized search results.

The Windows 10 version of Cortana looks to have many of the same features, including a notebook feature, which is designed as a one-stop center for user information such as contacts, calendar and notes.

Windows Smartphone Apps to run on Windows 10

The latest Windows 10 leak also shows that there will be a single app store, allowing users to get free (or optionally buy) apps for everything from traditional computers to phones in one place. A separate leaked screenshot also suggests it will be possible to download and use smartphone apps on a PC. (Source:

Microsoft had talked about the idea of developers making apps that could scale to any platform, but it's still surprising to see this happen, particularly given that some phone apps require hardware such as a SIM card to work properly.

System settings may also be simpler in Windows 10. In Windows 8, it's not always clear if a particular setting is in the old-style Control Panel or the new PC Settings app. The leaked Windows 10 build, however, shows that PC Settings has been greatly expanded, meaning it may well suffice as the only place users need to look.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you think you will want to use the Cortana features in Windows 10? Do you think Microsoft doing enough to bridge the gap between computers and phones? Will you upgrade your PC to Windows 10 when it becomes available? Would you consider purchasing a Windows Smartphone to use it with the Windows 10 operating system, if the two systems prove to work very well in sync with each other? Lastly, is mobile computing and the ability to sync data a priority for you?

Rate this article: 
Average: 2.9 (7 votes)