Ever since Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana appeared for Windows 10 in 2015 it has been dependent on the operating system for updates. However, Cortana is set to become a completely separate service as proven by the appearance of a new app in the Microsoft Store.
As Windows Central reports, a new beta app has appeared in the Microsoft Store offering Cortana to Windows 10 and Xbox One owners. However, choosing to download and install the app right now presents you with the message, “Hi, thanks for taking an interest!” and nothing more. Clearly Microsoft isn’t quite ready to let us start using the fully-independent version of its virtual assistant.
By splitting Cortana from Windows 10, Microsoft will be able to more quickly update the app, fix bugs, and improve Cortana’s functionality and feature set. Relying on Windows Updates meant updates were artificially limited, which must be frustrating for the Cortana development team eager to grow the service’s popularity in the face of stiff competition.
Earlier this month, a new, but disabled Cortana experience was spotted in the Windows 10 Build 18922 (20H1). It turns Cortana into a dedicated app designed to work within Windows 10 as a desktop experience, complete with threaded conversations with the assistant. The new listing in the Microsoft Store confirms the Cortana split is definitely set to happen, and soon.