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Microsoft previews Windows 10 Skype integration and Cortana inking

Microsoft previews Windows 10 Skype integration and Cortana inking

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Microsoft is previewing its latest Windows 10 update today, and it comes with some interesting changes. While the software giant has been promising a new Messaging app with Skype integration, it's finally available to test out. It's fairly basic right now, but it does give you access to features like Skype messaging, video, and audio all in integrated lightweight apps for Windows 10.

The new Messaging app is Microsoft's equivalent to Apple's own iMessage system. It's also identical to the Messages app on OS X, with the same two-panel interface and circular UI for contacts. Microsoft has started linking Skype usernames with mobile numbers to make it easier to find friends who are using the service without having to know their user ID. That makes this whole approach a lot more like iMessage, allowing Skype users to chat to friends easily on the service.

Windows 10 Skype integration


Alongside the Skype integration, Microsoft is also bringing inking support to Cortana. You can now generate reminders just by creating notes with a stylus on Windows 10. I've tried this a few times and it doesn't always appear to pick up the reminder you're trying to create. If you write the exact date and time it usually detects it, but it's clear Microsoft has some work to do to improve Cortana's understanding of inked notes.

Microsoft is also improving its Edge browser in this latest Windows 10 preview. A new tab preview feature has been enabled, so you can hover over tabs and get a preview of what's on the page. Syncing favorites and reading list items is now finally supported in Microsoft Edge, allowing you to pick up the same bookmarks on other Windows 10 machines.

Windows 10 Cortana inking

Aside from these new features, Microsoft is continuing to tweak the Windows 10 interface. There are more vibrant title bars included in this latest test build, and you can enable them in the personalization settings. There are also improved context menus on the Start menu to more closely match the overall theme of Windows 10. Finally, Microsoft is also updating ancient icons it has for the Device Manager and Registry Editor. If you're a Windows insider then you can download the Windows 10 build 10565 from Windows Update.