Microsoft is busy preparing the release of its “Windows Technical Preview,” but thanks to leaked screenshots and videos we’re getting an early look at some of the features the company is working on. Alongside virtual desktops, a new Start menu, and a Notification Center, Microsoft is also bringing its Cortana digital assistant to what will likely become Windows 9. German site WinFuture has published a series of screenshots showing a very early version of Cortana in the Windows Technical Preview.
It appears reminders with location, time, and people information are supported in the Technical Preview, although the interface is clearly early. It’s likely that Microsoft will seek to combine the Cortana for Windows functionality with its new search button that has been placed on the taskbar. We understand that Cortana functionality will not be fully functional in the Windows Technical Preview as Microsoft is still working on its implementation. Microsoft is planning to update the Technical Preview regularly, so Cortana will likely debut later once it’s ready to test fully.
Microsoft is also bringing over a number of other Windows Phone features to Windows 9, including Storage Sense and Wi-Fi Sense. Storage Sense is designed to collect information on what data is being stored by apps or the system to make it easier to prevent a hard drive filling up. It’s not yet clear how Wi-Fi Sense will be implemented in Windows 9, but the Windows Phone feature allows devices to automatically connect to Wi-Fi access points that do not have a passcode associated with them. Microsoft is expected to announce and release its Windows Technical Preview in late September or early October.