Cortana has some new productivity chops on deck for Fast ring Insiders

Microsoft is embarking on an evolution of Cortana, moving to turn the assistant from a general helper into a dedicated productivity assistant. As part of that evolution, the company rolled out a new set of Cortana features for Fast ring Insiders to test today, and they touch everything from flexibility in how you use Cortana to new skills and beyond.

One of the biggest changes is you’re now able to undock Cortana from the taskbar and re-size it any way you see fit. You can also set a preference for whether you want to type or speak when interacting with Cortana. There are also some interesting new ways to use Cortana to send emails, set up meetings, and interact with Windows.

Here’s a rundown of everything shipping for Fast ring Insiders now.

Cortana is in the middle of a major transformation. Where the digital assistant failed to gain the sort of commercial success seen by Amazon’s Echo and Google Assistant on dedicated speakers, Microsoft has opted to instead use the AI smarts behind Cortana to enhance how you use everything from Outlook to Teams and To Do.

This has had the knock-on effect of moving Microsoft to pull its Cortana apps on iOS and Android outside of the United States in January. However, we should start seeing more interesting AI-powered features popping up across Microsoft 365.

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