Hi Cortana, you need to go and sit in a corner now. After years of getting spooked with “Hi there! I’m Cortana, and I’m here to help…” in a loud, shrill voice, Microsoft has finally decided that it doesn’t want to be the reason for our heart problems. Cortana, the virtual assistant, will no longer step in without a beg your pardon and start guiding you, as you switch on your new Windows 11 PC for the first time. It might not be a big deal for many, but as someone who has to regularly set up new Windows 10 laptops and PCs for review purposes, it has led to many a moment of sudden heart rate spike. Unexpected, annoying and unnecessary. Cortana will no longer be included in the first boot experience or pinned to the Taskbar, confirms Microsoft.
“Hi there! I’m Cortana, and I’m here to help. A little sign-in here, a touch of Wi-Fi there…”. Oh for heaven’s sake, give it a rest. It is quite perplexing that none of the Windows OEMs, or Microsoft themselves, stepped in over the last few years, to add a dash of sophistication to things going out of hand. Before I proceed, I have to rant about this without fail—why do Windows 10 PC makers insist on setting the default volume of PCs at the set-up stage at 64 out of 100? That simply made things worse, with Cortana ordering us to let it help. Would Microsoft or indeed the likes of HP, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, Xiaomi and others tell us why this was a good idea all this while? Mind you, Apple’s virtual assistant Siri doesn’t interfere in such a way when setting up macOS on Macs, iOS on iPhones or iPadOS on iPads. Neither does Google’s Assistant on Android or Chrome OS computing devices.
Nevertheless, Microsoft has shown Cortana the naughty step, and that can only be a good thing. Even better, this depreciation of Cortana will roll out with Windows 11 right from the start, and you won’t have to wait for an update to also remove one unnecessary icon from the taskbar too. Windows 11 rolls out later this year, and while there is no official date for when the new OS will be released to consumers, this does set up a nice little showdown in the world of computing devices. Apple will be releasing the macOS Monterey as well as iPadOS in fall this year. Around that time, expect Android tablets that also double up as convertibles, including the very neat Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 series, to hopefully start getting the new Android 12 update as well. In the coming weeks, we expect PC makers to roll out more new machines with the “ready for Windows 11” labelling as well as detail plans for upgrades for existing machines.