Microsoft wants Cortana to set up Windows for you

The Windows Insider program has taken a break – that doesn’t mean Microsoft is on a break, though; the internal Windows builds at Microsoft are still chugging along, and it seems Microsoft wants Cortana to be more in control.

The latest internal builds of Windows at Microsoft have a brand new set up experience according to Windows Central; powered by Cortana, the new “out-of-the-box” experience guides users through the Windows setup process – making the account, connecting to the WiFi, etc.

Cortana’s assistance

Cortana was always meant to be an assistant; her presence in the setup process, however, is somewhat unexpected.

It’s clear that Microsoft wants Cortana to be in the front and center of the Windows experience; setting up Windows is where it begins.

Cortana can narrate the entire process and is always listening for user commands such as “Next” to proceed to the next steps.


If Windows 10 and Cortana are supposed to end up on everything, they need to be able to do things without traditional input devices – or even without a screen. The Windows Devices SDK might put Cortana on your toaster, but that toaster will also be running Windows 10.

The new set up experience only requires a microphone and a speaker, making it perfect for replacing the Amazon Echo, for example.

Still for Desktop

Windows is putting itself in places it has never been in; forgetting the desktop, however, would be a grave mistake. The new experience might use Cortana’s fanciness to its advantage, but it still allows users to use the more traditional ways of doing things.

Cortana can be disabled; mouse and keyboard can be used, and the interface is overhauled for devices with a screen. Microsoft isn’t leaving anyone behind.

When will see this?

The Windows Insider program is on a hiatus until the end of this year; new Insider builds will likely start showing up sometime early January – hopefully after the great massacre of CES is over.

Whether we will see this new experience in the upcoming Insider builds, remains a mystery; however, it does seem like it would be ready by the time Creators Update starts shipping.

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