Curious to find out what it’s like using Windows 10? Following an event earlier this week, Microsoft on Friday released a January build that comes with quite a few new features. We’ve already had our own taste of the Technical Preview from last year, but this newest update sports a lot of great additions, including Cortana on the desktop.
You’ll have to be part of Microsoft’s Windows Insider program to participate; if you already signed up for the free program, you’ll be able to start using build 9926 starting today. Not everything Microsoft showed off on Wednesday will be available to try out, but a lot of the good stuff is here: new settings app, new photos and maps apps, the Windows Store beta and the Xbox app, which lets gamers get the Xbox Live experience right from their PC.
Cortana on the desktop is the biggest addition in today’s build. The personal assistant will live right in the Windows 10 taskbar, making it super simple to get the information you need. With Cortana built-in, you’ll be able to use the technology to easily search for apps, files and other information by using your voice. Want to see who won the Lakers game? Just ask Cortana, and she’ll provide results in seconds. You can even access Cortana by saying, “Hey, Cortana” from anywhere in the desktop. Handy!
The new start menu is another terrific addition. It’s a nice compromise of the start menu of old and Microsoft’s “metro” touch interface, giving users quick and easy access to applications and other information. It expands to full-screen, too, making it really simple to switch into Tablet Mode as part of Windows 10’s “Continuum” approach.
Microsoft said it also made a ton of changes in the new build based on customer feedback, including support for more languages, the ability to choose a default folder when opening File Explorer, and more. Today’s update offers quite a bit, so check out the source link for all the juicy details. We’re excited to try it out, so we’ll be sure to report back about our experience.