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  1. Microsoft is rolling out a Cortana update with new design on Windows 10 It looks like a new server-side update is rolling out to Cortana in Windows 10 October 2018 Update with noticable changes. The latest server-side update to Cortana revamps the homepage interface to bring it in line with the changes that have been tested by Microsoft in preview builds of Windows 10 19H1. Microsoft insists Cortana is here to stay and updates are released to the digital assistant with every Windows 10 release. While Cortana is helpful, many users aren’t really big fans of the digital assistant and they prefer to use the digital assistant for basic stuff like searching the web, finding the relevant settings, setting up reminders and alarms. Windows 10 version 1903 will separate Windows Search from Cortana and both features will have their own dedicated space on the desktop. The new Windows Search in Windows 10 version 1903 has a slightly tweaked interface. For example, most frequently used apps appear in a ‘Top Apps’ section. Today’s server-side update to Cortana in Windows 10 October 2018 Update introduces the same look that Microsoft tested with Insiders. As you can see in the above screenshot, there is a new ‘Top Apps’ section above your recent activities. The top apps section allows users to quickly access the most used apps and it’s part of Microsoft’s effort to allow Windows Search to help you find the things you need. Here’s a comparison of the new and old look of Cortana. New Cortana vs Old Cortana in Windows 10 v1809 In our testing, we discovered that Microsoft is testing the new Cortana update with select users in select regions. When we switched the region to the United States from India or the United Kingdom, the new look of Cortana disappeared. Reverting the region settings brought back the updated Cortana homepage. Source
  2. How to install Cortana on a Raspberry Pi with Windows 10 IoT Core Setting up Cortana on the Raspberry Piusing Windows 10 IoT Core is relatively easy. Once you have everything you need, you can get Cortana up and running in as little as 30 minutes. Here’s a list of what you need. Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ SanDisk 32GB microSD card (<40 Mbps) The Nokia MD-12 would a be a perfect accessory for this project. You need be able to hear Cortana and Cortana needs to hear you. So any kind of Bluetooth speaker with a microphone will work or even a pair of wired headphones with a microphone. Once you have all of these items, you can go about installing Cortana to the Raspberry Pi. Windows 10 IoT Core is easy to install to the Raspberry Pi and Microsoft provides its own installer. All you need to do is follow these steps. Step 1: Download Tools Microsoft makes it easier to download and install Windows 10 IoT Core by using an easy-to-use dashboard to handle formatting and flashing your microSD card. Using one program to do it all takes out the guesswork out of how to install an OS on a Raspberry Pi. All you need to do is download the Windows 10 IoT Core Dashboard from the link below. I also included the link to download the Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview for the Windows Insiders out there. Step 2: Install Windows 10 IoT Core Once the Windows 10 IoT Core disk image successfully flashes to the microSD card, put the microSD card into the Raspberry Pi. From there, plug in the USB microphone or wired headphones with microphone, HDMI cable from a monitor, and any other USB peripherals you need to finish the setup process. Step 3: Initial Setup Now, power up the Raspberry Pi and follow the setup prompts to finish setting up Windows 10 IoT Core. Once you pick your language, you will be brought to the Windows 10 IoT Core welcome screen. From here, you can access Windows 10 IoT Core settings through the gear cog icon. Remember to save your IP address for your Windows 10 IoT Core device. You will need this information later. In Settings, you can enable Cortana and have Cortana wake up when you say “Hey Cortana.” After you enable Cortana, you will be required to agree give Cortana access to listen and respond to your voice. Step 4: Give Cortana permission Follow the prompts to give Cortana permission to listen and respond to your voice. Once, you have given Cortana all the required permissions, it’s time to finish setting up your Raspberry Pi to act as your Cortana portal every time the Raspberry Pi boots. Step 5: Audio Settings In order to get to the dashboard pictured below, you will need to enter the IP address of the Raspberry Pi. Open a web browser and type in the Raspberry IP address, followed by port 8080. For example, your IP address should be entered as follows into your web browser: Before you can access the device portal, you will be asked for a username and password. The username by default is “administrator” and the password is the password you set up when you flashed Windows 10 IoT Core onto your microSD card. Once you are logged in, you can change the audio levels to make sure Cortana can hear and respond to your voice. You can also change your device name and password to access the Windows Device Portal. Step 6: Run Cortana on Boot The most important part of this process is to have Cortana enabled each time your Raspberry Pi boots. Windows 10 IoT Core makes it easy to change toggle Cortana on and off for each boot cycle. From the left of your Windows Device Portal dashboard, you need to go to Apps > Apps Manager. Find Cortana and toggle Cortana to start on Startup. Now, Cortana will start automatically every time the Raspberry Pi boots up. Windows 10 IoT Core is a great OS to install on your Raspberry Pi. Windows 10 IoT Core doesn’t require any Linux command knowledge and Windows 10 users will find the interface familiar and easy-to-use. While creating your own Cortana smart speaker is fun, I will say that Cortana is not as responsive as Cortana on Windows 10. Sometimes it takes a second or two for Cortana to be ready for your questions. At times, I did notice that this Cortana project utilized almost 100% of the CPU of the Raspberry Pi. Avoid running other projects on the Raspberry Pi that you use for your Cortana speaker using Windows 10 IoT Core. Source
  3. Last year, Microsoft started testing Microsoft To-Do integration in Cortanawith Windows Insiders. This feature is now rolling out to everyone in the following regions: Australia, India, US, and UK. With this integration, you can just ask Cortana to remind you to work on that presentation at noon, Cortana will automatically add it to your tasks in Microsoft To-Do, and notify you as soon as the clock hits 12. You can open the Planned list or Tasks list in Microsoft To-Do anytime to find your reminders from across Cortana and Microsoft To-Do. Here’s how to setup this new feature: First you need to connect Cortana with the Microsoft To-Do account. Go to Cortana->Notebook->Manage Skills>Connected Services Select Microsoft To-Do (Beta) Click Connect. Second, download Microsoft To-Do app on your PC or phone. Login with the same account you used in step 1. Now, you can add lists and set reminders to To-Do via Cortana. Source
  4. Microsoft introduced the personal assistant Cortana in 2015 when it released the Windows 10 operating system (and even earlier on Windows Phone). Just like Microsoft tried to get a fast start with Windows 10 by offering it for free, it attempted to push Cortana by integrating it deeply into the Windows 10 operating system. Microsoft merged search with Cortana so that any user who used search was exposed to the personal assistant at the same time at first. Windows 10 users could use Cortana for a variety of tasks, e.g. for answering questions, set reminders, or to control music. The tight integration was not enough to establish Cortana as a competitor to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant; Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made the decision to reposition Cortana. Instead of playing catch-up with the two dominating assistants, Microsoft will now attempt to make Cortana a skill that is compatible with these devices. The company integrated Amazon Alexa already with Cortana, and it plans to do the same for Google Assistant. Integration would improve Microsoft's reach significantly and users could integrate Microsoft products, e.g. Outlook functionality, with personal assistants that they have at home or work already. The Verge reports that Microsoft would like for Cortana to become available as a skill of other digital assistants, like Microsoft "apps on Android or iOS". Current Windows 10 Insider Builds confirm a change in strategy. Microsoft plans to split Search and Cortana in Windows 10 version 1903, the upcoming version of Windows 10. Instead of launching the new version of Windows 10 with Cortana and search combined, Windows 10 version 1903 will have them split. Users who want to run searches can do so without having to deal with Cortana, and those who want to run Cortana can activate the personal assistant without having to deal with search. Closing Words Microsoft wants Cortana to become an essential skill, not only on Windows devices but also on mobile devices and smart speakers. Cortana could become an interface to control Microsoft services using non-Microsoft digital assistants. Only time will tell if that strategy will be more successful, or if Microsoft will retire Cortana in the coming years. I don't use personal assistants and have no intention of using them at this stage. Source: The future of the digital assistant Cortana (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  5. One of the changes that Microsoft is believed to be working on for Windows 10 19H1 is separating Cortana and the Windows Search in the taskbar. In the current stable builds of Windows 10, Cortana and Search share the same UI, so you’re more or less forced to use the digital assistant even for simple things like searching for a while. While this at some level makes sense, as it kind of makes Cortana a feature that you can’t avoid on the desktop, not everyone likes it, so Microsoft is planning to let users separate the two in the upcoming Windows 10 feature update. The software giant is already experimenting with this change, and some users are now allowed to try it out in the latest preview builds of Windows 10 19H1. But given it’s a limited trial, not everyone can get a taste of how it works. Unless you follow this little tutorial. Fortunately, it’s possible to separate Cortana and Windows Search on the desktop no matter Microsoft allows you to or not. Obviously, you have to be running the latest Windows 10 19H1 preview build because it’s the only one that comes with the code to allow this change. The second thing you’re going to need is a little tool called mach2 and which lets you tweak certain features of Windows 10, enable experimental changes, and try them out before they are released to everyone. The app is available on GitHub here. Mach2 comes as a ZIP archive, so extract all files and then you need to run it using Command Prompt. Launch an elevated Command Prompt (Start > cmd.exe > Run as administrator) and navigate to the path where all files are extracted. To do this, type the following command in Command Prompt:cd file-path As an example, the path for my testing is the following (with the default location used):cd C:\Users\bgdftw\Downloads\mach2_0.3.0.0_x64 Once you’re there in the Command Prompt, you need to run the following command:mach2 enable -v 2 17983783 This will separate the Cortana icon from the Search tool in the taskbar, but only after you reboot your system. Killing the explorer.exe process isn’t enough, so you must restart the computer to see the changes made to the taskbar. After the boot, the taskbar should look like in the screenshots here. Microsoft is expected to make this change official with the release of Windows 10 19H1 in the spring, but for now everyone waits for the company to actually announce it as part of the Windows Insider program. As I said earlier, it’s still a limited test for now, so only a few insiders see the change, but at some point in the future all Windows 10 preview build users should be able to separate Cortana from the search tool. Windows 10 19H1 is projected to be finalized in the spring, and as per Microsoft’s typical release schedule, the RTM should be ready and shipped to insiders in March. If everything goes according to the plan, the global rollout should kick off in April. Needless to say, more changes are very likely to make it to the desktop by the time the RTM is signed off, and Cortana itself could get further improvements. At some point during the development process of Redstone 5, it was even rumored that Microsoft could move Cortana in the system tray in order to keep the taskbar clean, but for now it looks like the first step is to separate it from search. As with any unofficial change to the desktop, you should create a system backup to be able to restore at any point in the future. Source
  6. Cortana has become a somewhat unwelcome feature in Windows 10, and Microsoft has been making increasing moves to distance themselves from their own voice assistant. The latest is disabling the Cortana voice-over when setting up Windows 10 for the first time in an enterprise setting. The changelog for Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18309 notes: It appears the feature will still be available for Home users. The cacophony of PCs being set up automatically all reciting the same Cortana phrases has been a running joke this last year. Experience the horror in full below. Source
  7. The signs all suggest that Microsoft is going to cut its losses in the digital assistant market. Smart move. Michael Homnick “Say goodbye, Cortana.” That might be what Microsoft is contemplating saying to its struggling digital assistant. Cortana, or at least Cortana as we know it today, could end up on the Microsoft scrap pile, next to Windows Phone. To which I say, “Good for you, Microsoft. You just might be starting to learn.” Cortana, as I said, has been struggling. It hasn’t reached the mobile ubiquity of Apple’s assistant, Siri, or made any headway into the booming market for smart speakers as have Amazon’s Echo and Dot and Google Home. And it likely never will. How far behind is Cortana? Reports this summer said that Amazon had sold 50 million smart speakers. Google’s smart speaker sales have been surging as well. In fact, the analyst firm Canalys found that Google’s smart speakers outsold Amazon’s for the first time in the first quarter of 2018, selling 3.2 million units to Amazon’s 2.5 million. Cortana? Sales of the only smart speaker with Cortana built into it, the Harman Kardon Invoke, were too small to measure. And although Apple is essentially a no-show in the smart speaker market, Siri is so popular on Apple’s mobile devices it’s essentially become a cultural touchstone. If all that doesn’t convince you that Cortana has no future, maybe this will: Starting on Nov. 16, the Amazon Dot and Echo smart speakers were listed for sale in the Microsoft Store. True, on Nov. 18, links to those listings no longer worked. But that’s likely a small glitch, because Amazon and Microsoft have made a deal to get Cortana and Alexa, the brains behind Amazon’s smart speakers, to cooperate. There’s more evidence about Cortana’s likely fate. Javier Soltero, a rising star at Microsoft who has been in charge of Cortana development, announced earlier this month he was leaving Microsoft. That didn’t come as a great surprise to Microsoft watchers, though. A few weeks before Soltero’s announcement, another important cog in the Cortana team departed as well. Eleven-year Microsoft veteran Samuel Moreau, who had been partner design director of Cortana and artificial intelligence, left to become vice president of global design and user experience for the Expedia Group. They both left in the wake of a Microsoft reorganization that appears to have downgraded Cortana’s importance. Cortana was moved from the AI and Research Division into the Experiences & Users team. That may sound like the usual shuffling of chairs that is so common at big companies like Microsoft. But it’s more than that. It probably signals the end of Cortana as a cutting-edge technology and standalone digital assistant. Instead, Cortana will likely become a less visible technology that provides assistance to other Microsoft products behind the scenes, instead of a highly visible branded product. What does that mean in practice? A look at a deal between Microsoft and Amazon about how Cortana and Alexa will work together provides some clues. In August 2017 the companies announced their deal. The companies agreed that you could open up Alexa from Cortana, and vice versa, by saying “Alexa, open Cortana” or “Cortana, open Alexa,” and then issuing a voice command for the appropriate digital assistant. That may sound like a deal between equals, but it’s not. Smart speakers do their magic using what are called “skills,” which are essentially voice applications for things like playing music, controlling a smart home, playing games, interfacing with business and productivity applications, and much more. The effectiveness of a smart speaker and digital assistant depends entirely on the variety and usefulness of those skills. Amazon announced via a blog on Sept. 1 that Alexa had more than 50,000 skills. Microsoft hasn’t recently divulged how many skills Cortana has, but at the end of 2017, it had only 230 of them. (Alexa at that time had 25,000.) Considering that so few people have purchased Cortana speakers, it’s likely that Cortana still has few skills, because developers can’t make much money creating skills for a tiny market segment. What ultimately does that mean for Cortana? In essence, when it comes to smart speakers, Cortana will likely become merely one Alexa skill among tens of thousands of others. The single manufacturer of Cortana speakers, Harman Kardon, will probably leave the market. Beyond that, Cortana will probably live behind the scenes in Windows, offering help to people when they do things like trying to find a convenient time to schedule meetings and other kinds of productivity tasks. But here’s the thing about all this bad Cortana news. Microsoft’s willingness to downgrade Cortana instead of getting into a long-term, multibillion-dollar losing war against Amazon, Google and Apple in the digital assistant business shows the company has learned from the past. The Windows Phone fiasco, in which Microsoft threw countless billions of dollars down a rathole and wasted the precious time of thousands of developers, might have taught the company something. It’s finally shed the arrogance of believing it can win every fight by spending billions of dollars and using Windows as a battering ram. So saying goodbye to the current iteration of Cortana is a good thing for the company, not a bad one. Source: Will Cortana go the way of Windows Phone? (Computerworld - Preston Gralla)
  8. The next VP to leave Microsoft is the current head of Cortana, Javier Soltero, according to multiple reports. The departure is part of an ongoing internal shakeup at Microsoft that has seen execs including 20-year vet Terry Myerson leave the company. Soltero joined Microsoft at the end of 2014 when the company bought out Acompli, the mobile email startup he co-founded. From there, he transitioned to become the head of Outlook Mobile and eventually took charge of the entire Outlook division. Later, Soltero joined the Office team before being appointed to head up Cortana in March 2018. However, with Microsoft in the midst of transitioning Cortana from being a traditional digital assistant managed by Microsoft’s AI and Research team into something more akin to a digital aide run by Microsoft’s Experiences and Devices team, it seems Soltero’s services were no longer needed. According ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, who first reported the departure, Soltero will be going “back to doing entrepreneurial activities” and will hand off his duties before he leaves sometime later this year. Now, the big question is: What happens to Cortana going forward? Despite Microsoft’s best efforts, Cortana never really caught on like Alexa, Siri, and the Google Assistant, even though Cortana is built into Windows 10 and Microsoft has worked with Amazon to collaborate on new skills for both Cortana and Alexa. Instead of competing directly with the big three assistants, Microsoft seems focused on making Cortana a more tightly-integrated productivity tool, now that it’s shifting the digital assistant under the purview of the team that also oversees Microsoft Office and Windows. More At [ZDNet, CNBC] Source
  9. Microsoft loves to make software, sell it as a service, re-org the company and make employees change buildings. According to those with direct knowledge of the company’s plans, Microsoft is shuffling the deck once again. This time around, it’s Harry Shum’s AI org that is being moved about with some speculating that he may be leaving the company. But what is for certain is that Cortana is no longer under the company’s AI org and is now nested inside of Office. For some time, the Office team has been pressuring Shum to move Cortana over to their unit, especially after it became apparent that the digital AI was no longer going to be a stand-alone product. With Cortana now fully inside of Office, expect the assistant to gain new features related to the productivity suite but I also believe that Cortana will simply become another tool for Office, rather than it’s own product. Earlier this month, I wrote about where I thought Cortana was headed following Ignite and this seems to align to that plan. With this change, Cortana is being moved out of the AI and Research organization which paints the picture of how the company now looks at the digital assistant. At this time, the charter for Cortana isn’t clear internally and the dust hasn’t even started to settle on this announcement but understand that going forward, Microsoft is significantly changing the way it thinks about and utilizes Cortana. What I don’t fully know at this time is how widespread the re-org is inside of Microsoft. AI & R is certainly being overhauled and I had heard whispers that the former Windows org would undergo additional changes once RS5 was completed; Microsoft wrapped up development on this feature release a couple weeks back. If I hear of any further changes, I’ll keep this post updated but for now know that Microsoft has repositioned Cortana internally which likely signals the company is moving away from the platform as being a competitor to Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant and instead is using it as a tool for its own productivity software. Source: Microsoft Shuffles the Deck Again, Cortana Finds a new Home (Petri - Brad Sams)
  10. One of the key value propositions that Microsoft has been trying to push with its digital assistant Cortana is that it's available on all of your devices. From a Harman Kardon Invoke speaker, to your PC, to your phone, to your gaming console, it's supposed to be wherever you are. Unfortunately, the iOS app was never optimized for Apple's iPads, until today. Version 2.6.8 adds the feature with an "exclusive layout and interface for your iPad". The app also now promises to launch 20% faster than it did previously, for a "lightning-fast experience". With Cortana, you can ask questions like, "What's the weather going to be like later today", or you can find out what's on your calendar, and so on. More importantly though, you can receive notifications that you set on other devices. For example, if you set a reminder on your phone, you'll receive that notification on whichever device you're using, whether it's your Xbox One, your Windows 10 PC, or your iPad. The App Store won't automatically install Cortana on your iPad if you've already got it on your phone, but it will automatically update it if you installed the iPhone app on the device. You can find Cortana on the App Store here. Source
  11. Cortana and Alexa can talk to each other, but it isn't really a conversation or integration — simply a way for one bot to open the other. Yawn. Microsoft Bots that talk to each other — there’s a big headline. Or is it? For most of us, the Amazon Alexa bot became a way of life over the last year. I use the Echo speaker on my desk. I have a Dot speaker in two bedrooms of my house. I’ve used Alexa on my phone many times, and I’ve tested it on pre-production cars. It’s connected into my home security system. It can read books from Audible.com, and it tells pretty good jokes (at least they are better than some jokes by humans). Microsoft's Cortana is an afterthought. It’s right there on my Windows computer, but it doesn’t really provide a lot of value. Because the enterprise has become such a multi-faceted environment — we use iPhones, book meetings through Google, and type docs in Microsoft Word — it’s hard to get excited about a bot that’s really an extension of the Microsoft ecosystem. Both Amazon and Microsoft have announced that the two bots — Alexa and Cortana — will talk to each other. It's not really in an extended conversation (that would be a cool idea) but simply as a way to open the other bot. You can say, “Cortana, open Alexa” and then control your smarthome. Or you can say, “Alexa, open Cortana” and book a meeting in Outlook. That sound you hear is a hundred people snoring after they’ve fallen asleep. It is not exactly planet-shaking news, although it is amazing that the two companies are working together. It's a bit like Siri ordering a movie from the Amazon store or Google Home being totally OK with the idea of letting you dictate a Microsoft Word document. The ability to talk to one bot to open another bot, though, is not really integration or even collaboration. It’s more like a way for both companies to admit the other bot exists and acknowledge there could be more synergy, That’s a good thing for the companies involved. For the user, it’s annoying. A better version of bot integration Here’s what real integration would look like. For starters, the bot we’ve all seen in the movie Her was obviously platform agnostic. It was more like a personal assistant, but it wasn’t branded as a Google bot or an Amazon bot. It was just a bot, and in the end, that’s what the user wants. The lights turn on, the pack of ink cartridges ships out, etc. True integration involves a bot that does all the hard work for you without the user even knowing that a Nest thermostat exists at all. The temperature goes down. The user doesn’t care about brands or platforms; the user cares about functionality. To me, the Cortana-Alexa news is really just another layer. Using one bot to open another makes the entire process more complex, not less complex. How does the user know what Alexa can do and what Cortana can do? Why should he or she care? Also, which bots can tell you the weather or order a product online? We want to know the weather, not that both bots can do that. As is often the case, integration is the stuff of press releases and market share. It is not something the user wants to know about unless the news is that the user doesn’t need to think as much, doesn’t need to know as much, and won’t be as frustrated. We’ll see how this plays out, but my guess is that few users are going to care that one bot can command another bot. When the branded bots go away -- that’s the big headline. Source: Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa agree to talk to each other, but no one cares (Computerworld)
  12. My Dism Guide to Remove Windows Packages requested by Ecarion Syntax Remove Adobe, DiagTrack, Telemetry, Windows Defender, Cortana, OneDrive Packages from en_windows_10_enterprise_version_1511_x64_dvd_7224901.iso eg. Dism layout <Path> E:\ <MountDir> E:\IMG <wim file> E:\install.wim Mount install.wim Dism /Mount-Wim /Wimfile:E:install.wim /Index:1 /MountDir:E:\IMG Load Registry hive Reg Load HKLM\WIM_Software E:\IMG\windows\system32\config\software Take Registry key Full Control Permission . Run regedit, navigate to Packages(Right-click) Tick Full Control Allow then CLOSE Registry Editor. HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages Set Adobe Flash Package key visibility and Delete Owner key Reg Add "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Adobe-Flash-For-Windows-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0" /v "Visibility" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f Reg Delete "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Adobe-Flash-For-Windows-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0\Owners" /f Set DiagTrack Package key visibility and Delete Owner key Reg Add "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-DiagTrack-Internal-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0" /v "Visibility" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f Reg Delete "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-DiagTrack-Internal-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0\Owners" /f Set Telemetry Package key visibility and Delete Owner key Reg Add "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-OneCore-AllowTelemetry-Reduced-Default-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0" /v "Visibility" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f Reg Add "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-OneCore-TroubleShooting-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0" /v "Visibility" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f Reg Add "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-OneCore-TroubleShooting-WOW64-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0" /v "Visibility" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f Reg Delete "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-OneCore-AllowTelemetry-Reduced-Default-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0\Owners" /f Reg Delete "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-OneCore-TroubleShooting-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0\Owners" /f Reg Delete "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-OneCore-TroubleShooting-WOW64-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0\Owners" /f Set Windows Defender Package key visibility and Delete Owner key Reg Add "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Windows-Defender-AM-Default-Definitions-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0" /v "Visibility" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f Reg Add "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Windows-Defender-Client-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0" /v "Visibility" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f Reg Add "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Windows-Defender-Client-WOW64-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0" /v "Visibility" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f Reg Add "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Windows-Defender-Group-Policy-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0" /v "Visibility" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f Reg Delete "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Windows-Defender-AM-Default-Definitions-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0\Owners" /f Reg Delete "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Windows-Defender-Client-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0\Owners" /f Reg Delete "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Windows-Defender-Client-WOW64-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0\Owners" /f Reg Delete "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Windows-Defender-Group-Policy-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0\Owners" /f Set Cortana Package key visibility and Delete Owner key Reg Add "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-Cortana-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0" /v "Visibility" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f Reg Add "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-Cortana-PAL-Desktop-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0" /v "Visibility" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f Reg Delete "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-Cortana-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0\Owners" /f Reg Delete "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-Cortana-PAL-Desktop-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0\Owners" /f Set OneDrive Package key visibility and Delete Owner key Reg Add "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-OneDrive-Setup-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0" /v "Visibility" /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f Reg Delete "HKLM\WIM_Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-OneDrive-Setup-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0\Owners" /f Unload Registry hive Reg Unload HKLM\WIM_Software Remove Adobe, DiagTrack, Telemetry, Windows Defender, Cortana, OneDrive Packages Dism /Image:E:\IMG /Remove-Package /Packagename:Adobe-Flash-For-Windows-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0 Dism /Image:E:\IMG /Remove-Package /Packagename:Microsoft-Windows-DiagTrack-Internal-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0 Dism /Image:E:\IMG /Remove-Package /Packagename:Microsoft-OneCore-AllowTelemetry-Reduced-Default-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0 Dism /Image:E:\IMG /Remove-Package /Packagename:Microsoft-OneCore-TroubleShooting-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0 Dism /Image:E:\IMG /Remove-Package /Packagename:Microsoft-OneCore-TroubleShooting-WOW64-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0 Dism /Image:E:\IMG /Remove-Package /Packagename:Windows-Defender-AM-Default-Definitions-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0 Dism /Image:E:\IMG /Remove-Package /Packagename:Windows-Defender-Client-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0 Dism /Image:E:\IMG /Remove-Package /Packagename:Windows-Defender-Client-WOW64-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0 Dism /Image:E:\IMG /Remove-Package /Packagename:Windows-Defender-Group-Policy-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0 Dism /Image:E:\IMG /Remove-Package /Packagename:Microsoft-Windows-Cortana-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0 Dism /Image:E:\IMG /Remove-Package /Packagename:Microsoft-Windows-Cortana-PAL-Desktop-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0 Dism /Image:E:\IMG /Remove-Package /Packagename:Microsoft-Windows-OneDrive-Setup-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.10586.0 Or create a simple script save as .cmd (Run as Admin) Cleanup WinSxS /ResetBase Dism /Image:E:\IMG /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase Save Changes to Image Dism /Commit-Image /MountDir:E:\IMG UnMount Saving Image Dism /Unmount-Wim /MountDir:E:\IMG /Commit Dism Remove Windows Store Apps (NOT NEW, add for general info) Syntax e.g Getting the list of app packages Dism /Image:E:\IMG /Get-ProvisionedAppxPackages >E:\ProvisionedAppxPack.txt Remove All AppxPackage First boot Windows 10 Enterprise 10.0.10586 Version 1511 without Store Apps Windows 10 Version 1511 Deployment Tools File : Deployment_Tools_10.0.10586.7z Size : 6.73 MB (7,057,829 bytes) SHA1 : B149753C47FF8CA7B7D6C8C566EE93DD2BC10125 Download : http://www.solidfiles.com/d/6b95336b33/
  13. Want to REALLY squash Cortana? Open the Task Manager. Open C:\Windows\SystemApps Rename the folder “Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy.” You have to stop the Cortana process in the Task Manager, b/c it’s using the folder. You have to be FAST FAST b/c the process restarts quickly. Reboot. The Cortana “O” still shows in the search box, but the search box is DEAD – you can’t type anything in it. Cortana still shows in the taskbar context menu, but the Cortana icon is also DEAD. Install Classic Shell and type in the search box. You get a “Microsoft Windows Search Indexer” process that shows activity. Don’t know what other effects this might have, but it does the job of killing the Cortana processes and removing them from the Task Manager apparently. Excerpt from Does “killing” Cortana really kill Cortana? (AskWoody) Posters note: This is an excerpt from a long article (linked above) where PKCano documents various attempts at stopping Cortana, including the above which seems successful.
  14. The focus on loss of privacy from Watson, Cortana, Google, Facebook, DeepMind, and Siri risks us missing an even greater threat At the Gartner ITExpo this week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella faced tough questions on how Cortana and LinkedIn together could spy deeply on our work lives. (Microsoft is purchasing LinkedIn.) At the SoTech conference I attended this past weekend, an IBM Watson engineer faced similar questions about the data that Watson would gather to feed IBM's vision of Watson as an adviser to people in all sorts of work. But privacy is not the only issue, and not necessarily the most important one. All of these artificial intelligent systems -- Watson, Cortana, Google's DeepMind and intelligent assistants, Facebook, and Apple's Siri -- are being proposed as all-knowing, objective advisers to people, companies, and governments. The AI will tell you who's a good job candidate, what's the best medical treatment, what car you should buy, where you should live, what gas station you should frequent, and what you should eat. That's supposed to be a good development because it's based on analysis of information that individuals don't have access to and couldn't process if they did -- plus, the AI has no inherent bias in the calculations it bases its recommendation on. Thus, AI systems using algorithms and data from who knows where, with who knows what degree of accuracy and who knows what degree of encoded biases, will make these decisions on the fundamental aspects of our lives. Scary! At the SoTech conference, I asked the IBM engineer of this coming future: How would people escape getting blacklisted algorithmically, or at least understand why their résumés never get to an HR pro, their insurance rates skyrocket, they don't get housing applications accepted in certain areas, and so on? His answers: You don't know today why a company doesn't call you in for an interview or even doesn't hire you after an interview. "We comply with all government regulations." That's even scarier. Here's why: AI can make these judgments at scale, and because they are designed as centralized services, those judgments will be delivered over and over again, and many employers will get the same judgments about you. Or more likely, they won't get those judgments; HR departments use such services to screen out applicants, so only the best (however defined) get through. Employers may likely never even know you exist. Think about how credit scores work: Three companies gather credit balances, payment histories, and income data on you, then calculate your likelihood of making payments (that's what your score means). Bad data can ruin your score, and because everyone uses it, you're cut off from credit everywhere. It took years for the feds to require that companies disclose denial of credit based on such reports and to let you see the data about you. But even today, there's no regulated, assured system for correcting errors. That's for factual data. But how do you "correct" a judgment about your cultural fit, job qualifications, and all the other subjective factors that go into hiring? You can bet that a result will be exclusion by illegal factors such as race, age, or gender -- not from direct discrimination, of course, but due to the goals of such systems like "cultural fit," as the Watson engineer described. That too often means "people like us," which will easily creep into the "objective" criteria the AI uses. Economists and sociologists know well that those personal factors often correlate to putatively objective states, such as educational background, economic status, residence location, and social connections. The Watson engineer said the final decision is up to the HR department, so any inadvertent results can be corrected. Except they can't: How would HR know to look for such examples when it gets only the 17 "best" résumés? And if someone broke through, how would HR know what the AI's judgment was really based on? And why would HR take the risk over overruling the AI, which has access to all that data and is objective in its judgments? That's the evil lurking in AI: It's presented as more objective and more knowledgeable than people, so any opposition to it becomes a quixotic exercise. It takes a lot for people to question the system today. It'll be an order of magnitude harder when AIs rule the system. Employment is one area where AI can redline you, with no real recourse -- assuming you even know an AI judgment was the cause. In medicine, doctors will play second fiddle to AI diagnoses and treatment recommendations -- an objective AI is as likely to let you die quickly to save you suffering and the hospital money as it is to let you live longer to have closure with your friends and family. Less dire, AIs will correlate your medical history with that of your relatives to improve your treatment, but insurers can also use that information to price you -- and your relatives -- out of the market. That's illegal, of course, but insurers are already testing a way around that: Car insurers now promote tracking devices for your vehicles, so they can give you discounts for good driving. That's redlining inverted, but still redlining. I won't be surprised to see "good" family histories lead to discounts on medical insurance, though likely not stated that way. What school your kids may go to will also be subject to AI judgments. The financial industry commits all sorts of shady acts to extract money from you, lurching from one scandal to another while not changing the underlying behaviors. And they're exactly the kind of people who will use AI judgments to rig the system increasingly against you. The stock market will be even more a game for suckers, and your 401(k) will be even less valuable when you retire. We can only imagine how governments will use AI to predict criminal behaviors, monitor and even define suspects, regulate behaviors for individuals and businesses, and more. We saw with Edward Snowden's revelations how far beyond the bounds of civil rights that progressive governments like the United States are willing to go with today's tools. Wait till they have their own AIs tapping into all the private and public systems they can. It's all based on objective data, of course, and the judgments derived from the algorithms' view of that data. Never mind that much of the data is subjective, as are the algorithms and filters that users apply to them. AI engineers hate to admit that the world is not objective. Explicit discrimination is bad enough, systemic discrimination worse. Hidden, unacknowledged discrimination is the worst of all. AI will favor that worst kind -- at scale. I don't know that we can do anything about it. After all, laws are regularly flouted when inconvenient -- and violations will be hard to detect. (Hmm, maybe an AI to find those?) But we can try. Some ideas: Require all AI-assisted decisions on significant issues (employment, health care, education, housing, travel, professional licenses) be revealed to those they affect, with the reasons in the AI's judgment described. (This is like the current laws on credit scores.) Forbid use of nonpublic data without explicit permission in any AI analyses not conducted directly by the individual or company. Ensure that laws like HIPAA and HICAT disallow family-history-based health profiling for purposes of denial of care, substitution of lower-cost care, and price of care. Ban the use of tracking devices that deliver behavioral patterns to determine insurance and similar rates. Actual-accident history is fine, but potential-accident history is not. Disallow central storage and dissemination of AI judgments; each judgment should be a fresh one, so mistaken judgments aren't made into perpetual redlining. There should be no equivalent to a standard credit score for subjective evaluations. Require all private data be marked as such and be rejected by AI correlation systems when used by third parties. Also make it illegal for a person to waive the privacy of such information (similar to how states made it illegal for employers to force applicants to share their social-media passwords so they could see what kind of people they were). Source: http://www.infoworld.com/article/3131098/artificial-intelligence/at-the-mercy-of-ai-your-job-your-health-your-money.html
  15. Evolution: The Qwerty keyboard is 'an old design being brought forward to modern day', Microsoft's Dave Coplin said. Microsoft's man in charge of predicting the future has forecast the slow death of the Qwerty keyboard — with facial tracking, voice and gesture recognition taking over. Dave Coplin, the technology giant’s chief envisioning officer, said it was bizarre that 21st-century workers still relied on typing technology invented in the 19th century. He added that while there have been huge leaps in technology, often the workplace had not caught up. “We have these amazing computers that we essentially use like we’re still Victorians. The Qwerty keyboard is a great example of an old design being brought forward to modern day. We’ve not really evolved. We still use this sub-optimal design. “We’re looking at technologies now like voice and gesture recognition, and facial tracking that may make the keyboard redundant,” he added. “We think that computers in the not-too-distant future will be able to understand all of those things and infer on my behalf my intent, meaning and objective that I’m trying to do.” Mr Coplin, who works on Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant, will speak at the London Innovation Summit 2016, organised by business network Codex, tomorrow. He predicts everyday computing will become a full body experience, using movements similar to those seen in the 2002 Tom Cruise film Minority Report. He said chatbots — artificially intelligent assistants working within set rules — will also be used more widely to cut down web browsing time for tasks such as shopping and booking holidays. He added: “We’re going to see AI deliver these agents who will know who your family are, the things we like to do and places we like to stay, and on my behalf they will negotiate with all these providers and bring me back a little package for my perfect holiday.” Article source
  16. This morning saw Microsoft's breathtaking push to put Cortana in the driver's seat and breaking Office out into its own unit The world woke up this morning to a torrent of news from Microsoft, embodied in an internal memo (you can see a copy on GeekWire) that describes a major restructuring of the Softie's sanctum sanctorum, and a press release announcing the new Microsoft AI and Research Group. There's a lot of change going on beneath the surface, but to me, the biggest takeaway is that Cortana has a new, much larger incubator. Highly respected honcho Qi Lu is out, Cortana is getting grafted onto MS Research, Office is moving to its own group, and Skype's future is unclear. Last night, Kara Swisher and Ina Fried at Recode broke the news : Microsoft's Qi Lu, executive VP in charge of the applications and services unit, is leaving the company due to health issues. The health issues weren't fully explored, but Swisher and Fried say they "arose from a bicycle accident that took place several months ago, according to sources." The sources aren't identified, and I haven't found independent confirmation. Lu has had a remarkable career. He moved from Yahoo to Microsoft in December 2008, and then-CEO Steve Ballmer put him in charge of three hard-charging engineers: Brian McAndrews (advertising and publisher solutions), Yusuf Mehdi (product manager for MSN and marketing), and one Satya Nadella (search, the Microsoft portal, and the advertising platform). Elevated to president of online services in July 2009, Lu was the only top exec who survived the Ballmer-Nadella transition. Seven years ago, Nadella was working for Lu. By all accounts, Lu wasn't interested in taking over Ballmer's job. Yesterday, Lu was in charge of the Applications and Services Group, which cuts a broad swath through Microsoft's tech empire: Office (all flavors), Skype, Bing, and much more. Nadella's reorg pulls Office out into its own group and puts an unexpected emphasis on AI in general and Cortana in particular. Cortana and Bing (overseen by Derrick Connell) go to a new AI and Research Group -- where they belong -- with MS Research, Information Platform (David Ku's realm), and Robotics (headed up by Vijay Mital). All of them will be under Harry Shum, who is executive VP of technology and research. It's not clear to me if Shum will continue to be directly responsible for the MS Research team. He was in charge of Bing search from 2007 to 2013, and he's been in charge of MS Research since then. In a move that surprised me, Rajesh Jha was put in charge of a new Office Products Group, and the whole group was elevated to report directly to Nadella. Yesterday, Jha was in charge of Office 365, Exchange, and the many flavors of Outlook, reporting to Lu, a position he took in May 2014. Now he has Office, OneNote, Skype ... the whole thing. More surprising, Gurdeep Singh Pall is out as the head of Skype, with no word as yet what he'll be doing next. Nadella says, "Gurdeep will transition the Skype team to Rajesh over the coming weeks," but it isn't clear who will be in charge of Skype. Expect more transcontinental churn. Julie Larson-Green stays in charge of "My Life & Work" -- the interface team -- but now reports to Jha instead of Lu. Eran Megiddo remains in charge of OneNote, Wunderlist, and Education, while reporting to Jha instead of Lu. Cortana should be dancing in the streets. With this reorg, Nadella puts considerable muscle and money behind his commitment to "the democratization" of artificial intelligence. (Sounds a whole lot better than "mobile first, cloud first," eh?) At least, Microsoft will give Google and Apple a good run for the money. I offer obeisance to our emerging electronic overlords, but I wonder if they'll speak Microsoft. Source: Shakeup: Qi Lu is out; Microsoft shifts Cortana, Bing, Office, Skype InfoWorld - Woody on Windows AskWoody.com - Woody Leonhard's no-bull news, tips and help for Windows and Office
  17. Personal assistant Cortana to the rescue in car crash Unsurprisingly, the dispatcher working for the police department had no idea where the caller was and was unable to locate her on the map. “Where are you?” she first asked. “Alright, can you give me a landmark?” she then continued, trying to locate her, while also adding that “I’m having a little trouble hearing you.” After trying a few more times to provide more details and landmarks about her location, the woman involved in the car crash asks: “Where have I called?” Here’s the rest of the conversation: Operator: You’ve called the Barnstable Police Department. Caller: Yeah. Operator: In Massachusetts. Caller: In Massachusetts? Operator: Yes, Massachusetts. Caller: There’s no way you can help me then from there. Operator: Where exactly are you calling from? Caller: England. Operator: I’m sorry, but our response time is going to be about six hours. And in case you’re wondering why exactly the dispatcher couldn’t hear the woman clearly enough, it was because she had a British accent. Good job, Cortana! Source
  18. Disable Cortana, and Windows 10 will switch to using local search for everything. But, if you open the Task Manager, you’ll still see “Cortana” running in the background anyway–why is that? Cortana Is Really Just “SearchUI.exe” Whether you have Cortana enabled or not, open the Task Manager and you’ll see a “Cortana” process. If you right-click Cortana in the Task Manager and select “Go to Details”, you’ll see what’s actually running: A program named “SearchUI.exe”. If you right-clicked “SearchUI.exe” and selected “Open File Location,” you’d see where SearchUI.exe is located. It’s part of the “Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy” application folder in Windows. This application appears as “Cortana” in the list of running processes so it’s more easily understandable. But it’s actually a smaller tool named SearchUI.exe. “SearchUI.exe” Is the Windows Search Feature We decided to disable access to SearchUI.exe so we could check what it actually does. We ended the Cortana task from the Task Manager and then renamed the “Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy” folder to something else. After we did, Cortana doesn’t appear to be running in the background–but the Windows Search feature is completely broken. That’s right: Windows 10’s search feature completely breaks. Clicking the “Search Windows” box on the taskbar or pressing Windows+S on your keyboard does nothing. The search dialog just won’t appear. Rename the Cortana folder back to its original name and the search dialog suddenly appears normally again. SearchUI.exe isn’t really Cortana at all, though they are intertwined. “Cortana” is both the name for Microsoft’s online assistant, and the name for all the local search tools built into Windows 10. When you disable Cortana from the registry or group policy, all the online features are disabled–but the local file search tools are left running. Those are technically part of the “Cortana” application, as that’s just how Microsoft has implemented things in Windows. SearchUI.exe Barely Uses Any Resources, So Don’t Sweat It “Cortana” (or SearchUI.exe) shouldn’t be using much in the way of resources if you examine it in the Task Manager. It’s not actually doing anything unless you open it. With Cortana disabled with the registry hack, we noticed the Cortana (SearchUI.exe) process using 37.4MB of memory and 0% of our CPU. You might wonder why Cortana is using any resources at all. That’s because it’s loaded in memory so it can instantly appear when you click the “Search Windows” box on the taskbar or press Windows+S. When you open the search box on Windows 10, Cortana will use some CPU–but only as long as the search dialog is open. Cortana shouldn’t appear to be using any more resources than this. It will always use a small amount of RAM in the background, and will use some CPU only when you open it. The “Cortana” process doesn’t even handle file indexing. Windows indexes your files, examining them and the words inside them so you can quickly search them from the search tool. When Windows is indexing your files, you’ll see the processes like “Microsoft Windows Search Filter Host”, “Microsoft Windows Search Indexer”, and “Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host” using CPU in the Task Manager. To control indexing, open your Start menu or Control Panel and search for “Indexing Options”. Launch the Indexing Options shortcut that appears. This panel lets you choose the locations Windows indexes files in, choose the exact types of files, and exclude files you don’t want to index. In summary, “Cortana” isn’t really running once you’ve disabled it. The basic Windows search interface, known as SearchUI.exe, remains running under the larger “Cortana” banner, even though the personal assistant really is turned off. SearchUI.exe uses a very small amount of RAM and only uses CPU when you have the search panel open, so it’s not something you should worry about. Article source
  19. Cortana has been designed to do a lot of things, and here we show you a bunch of tips and tricks you can use to be more productive on Windows 10. Cortana on Windows 10 is always ready in the taskbar, or a voice command away, to help you with virtually anything you need. Similar to Google Now and Apple's Siri, Microsoft's digital assistant can create reminders, schedule appointments, track packages and flights, suggest recommendations, find files, and even tell you a joke when you're feeling bored. The fact is that if you haven't been using Cortana, you've been missing out on many cool things you can do. Although there is not a "master list" of everything you can do with the assistant, here's a list with some of the most productive tips and tricks you can do with Cortana on Windows 10. How to use Cortana to manage your calendar How to use Cortana to create notes How to use Cortana to set an alarm How to use Cortana to set timer How to use Cortana to play and search music How to use Cortana to open apps How to use Cortana to send a text message from your PC How to use Cortana to send a quick email How to use Cortana to do math and conversions How to use Cortana to find facts How to use Cortana to move with traffic How to use Cortana to translate languages How to use Cortana for technical support How to use Cortana to manage your calendar Similar to a really world assistant, Cortana can also do an excellent job managing your calendar using the Calendar app. To create a new calendar event, do the following: Open Cortana. In the search box type the following command: Create a calendar event and press Enter. Enter the information for the event. Make sure to add it to the correct calendar. Click Add to complete the task. If you want to use voice commands, you can simply say "Hey Cortana", or click the microphone icon in the search box, followed by the command. Here are some examples: Viewing calendar events "What's on my calendar for today?" or "How's my schedule like this week?" Adding new calendar events "Add dental appointment for tomorrow at 4 pm" or "Add business meeting for Friday at 9 am" Moving calendar events "Move dental appointment to Tuesday 11 am" or "Move business meeting to tomorrow 2 pm" Remember that you can always type your voice commands in the search box, instead of saying them aloud. It's all the same for Cortana.
  20. Love it (her?) or hate it, Cortana is a part of the Windows operating system now. Sure, you can disable some of the features, but the personal assistant will always be there to do stuff. One of the cooler things Cortana can do is show you lyrics for the songs you’re playing in a YouTube video in Edge. The feature is quite easy to use. When you’re playing a YouTube video with the Edge browser, you’ll see a little circle appear in the address bar. Clicking this will cause the lyrics to song to pop out on the right side of the screen. Something kind of annoying about this otherwise cool feature is that clicking anywhere on the screen will cause the lyrics to fade away, and clicking the circle in the address bar will bring them back. Also, the lyrics option didn’t come up for me on more obscure music (even relatively popular bands like In This Moment (CA)). While not perfect, it’s definitely a cool feature for all Edge users, and it’s worth playing around with if you’re listening to song and trying to figure out what the singer just said. Article source
  21. Microsoft is working with Liebherr’s appliance division to rebuild the refrigerator and make it smarter, faster, strong; well, maybe just smarter. The new collaboration between the two will see Microsoft provide computer vision technology, via its Microsoft Cognitive Services Computer Vision API, to let the fridge identify objects contained within. Why would you want a fridge that knows what it’s holding? It’ll save you those extra return trips to the grocery store for things you forgot, for one. The deep learning algorithms in use will be able to learn new food types based on its experience from processing millions of generic food packaging images, and it should be able to get smarter very quickly while in use when and if it eventually comes to market, using data gathered from a wide pool of real-world users. Other fridges have the ability to let you peer inside remotely, but Microsoft’s data science team worked directly with Liebherr on this prototype to make a learning fridge that won’t force you to rely on your pathetic human eyes looking at a grainy image over a poor cellular connection to roll the dice while shopping. The fridge is just a prototype for now, though, so you’ll have to do with your uneducated, idiotic produce cooling box for now. But in the meantime, if you want some Microsoft in your refrigerator, you can always get this. Article source
  22. Microsoft doesn’t want you to disable Cortana. You used to be able to turn Cortana off in Windows 10, but Microsoft removed that easy toggle switch in the Anniversary Update. But you can still disable Cortana via a registry hack or group policy setting. This transforms the Cortana box into a “Search Windows” tool for local application and file searches. Cortana has become increasingly restrictive since Windows 10’s release. It was previously updated to ignore your default web browser. Cortana now always launches the Microsoft Edge browser and only uses Bing when you search. If that sounds like something you wouldn’t want to use, here’s how to turn it off. Home Users: Disable Cortana via the Registry If you have Windows 10 Home, you’ll have to edit the Windows Registry to make these changes. You can also do it this way if you have Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise, but just feel more comfortable working in the Registry as opposed to Group Policy Editor. (If you have Pro or Enterprise, though, we recommend using the easier Group Policy Editor, as described in the next section.) Standard warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes. First, open the Registry Editor by pressing Windows+R on your keyboard, typing “regedit” into the box, and pressing Enter. Navigate to the following key in the left sidebar: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search. If you don’t see a “Windows Search” key (folder) below the Windows folder, right-click the Windows folder and select New > Key. Name it “Windows Search”. Right-click the “Windows Search” key (folder) in the left pane and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the value “AllowCortana”. Double-click it and set the value to “0”. You can now close the registry editor. You’ll have to sign out and sign back in or restart your computer before the change takes effect. To undo your change and restore Cortana in the future, you can just return here, locate the “AllowCortana” value, and delete it or set it to “1”. Download Our One-Click Registry Hack Rather than editing the registry yourself, you can download our Disable Cortana registry hack. Just open the downloaded .zip file, double-click the “Disable Cortana.reg” file, and agree to add the information to your registry. We’ve also included an “Enable Cortana.reg” file if you’d like to undo the change and re-enable Cortana later. You’ll have to sign out and sign back in–or restart your computer–before the change will take effect. These .reg files just change the same registry settings we outlined above. If you’d like to see what this or any other .reg file will do before you run it, you can right-click the file .reg and select “Edit” to open it in Notepad. You can easily make your own Registry hacks. Pro and Enterprise Users: Disable Cortana via Group Policy If you’re using Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise, the easiest way to disable Cortana is by using the Local Group Policy Editor. It’s a pretty powerful tool, so if you’ve never used it before, it’s worth taking some time to learn what it can do. Also, if you’re on a company network, do everyone a favor and check with your admin first. If your work computer is part of a domain, it’s also likely that it’s part of a domain group policy that will supersede the local group policy, anyway. First, launch the group policy editor by pressing Windows + R, typing “gpedit.msc” into the box, and pressing Enter. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search. Locate the “Allow Cortana” setting in the right pane and double-click it. Set the Allow Cortana option to “Disabled” and then click “OK”. You can now close the group policy editor. You’ll have to sign out and sign back in–or restart your PC–for this change to take effect. To re-enable Cortana, return here, double-click the “Enable Cortana” setting, and change it to “Not Configured” or “Enabled”. Credit to
  23. If the problem’s widespread, it could affect today’s Anniversary Update rollout Last night I was surprised -- no, shocked -- to see Microsoft release a last-minute patch for Windows 10 Anniversary Update, build 1607. Why? Any release of a patch, even a simple patch, on the night before a scheduled massive rollout is begging the Bug Gods to start rumbling. As of very early Tuesday morning, the Dung Beetles are rolling. Last night, Microsoft released KB 3176929, the third cumulative update for Windows 10 build 1607. (I call it Win 10.2.3.) As you no doubt know, build 1607 is scheduled to start a massive rollout today, Aug. 2. In the normal course of events, Microsoft would roll out the latest release -- the version with all outstanding cumulative updates applied. Given the problems I’ve seen reported online, it’s likely that somebody in Redmond is reconsidering the decision to roll out 14393.10 this morning. What does KB 3176929 actually do? We haven’t a clue. There’s no KB article, no Insider Hub post, no Blogging Windows post. Windows Insider spokesperson Dona Sarkar tweeted last night: We have now released cumulative update 14393.10 to the Fast Ring via Windows Update ... and this is *just* for PC. Then, four hours later: 14393.10 is now live for Fast, Slow, RP rings. Rel notes coming in FB Hub shortly. That was around midnight, Aug. 1, the night before build 1607 is scheduled for full release. Since then, I’ve seen reports of various kinds of anomalous behaviors. For one, the people who have version 14393 and didn’t acquire it through the Windows Insider program (yes, pirates live among us) also received KB 3176929, and are now sitting at Version 1607 OS Build 14393.10. Clearly, Sarkar’s first tweet was wrong. More problematic are the reports appearing sporadically about problems with Cortana in this build. On WindowsCentral, poster AB Lambert says: On my laptop Cortana stopped working ... All I have is the search icon which replaced the Cortana icon. I uninstalled the update and got Cortana back and then I reinstalled the update and lost her again. John McIlhinney says: This update broke Cortana on my Surface 3. She's still there on the Task Bar and she still opens but she can't do anything. I hope they don't roll out this release as the Anniversary Update and break Cortana for everyone. UPDATE: She's working again. Over on Reddit, netherbound says: This update broke Cortana for me. She is not working at all now. Host machine is effected but VM on the host updated just fine and Cortana still works. And rpodric confirms: Uh oh, same here with Enterprise (yes, it had been working fine). This is the last thing they needed to happen on Day 0. That's precisely the point. It looks like some Win10 customers are experiencing a last-moment bug -- present in 14393.10, but absent from yesterday’s 14393.5 -- that disables many of Cortana’s features, including voice response and internet access. With only a few hours of experience under our belts, it’s much too early to pinpoint the exact symptoms or speculate about causes -- except it’s clearly linked to this last-minute patch. I have no idea what possessed The Powers That Be to change a “final” build only hours before it was due to roll out to 370 million-or-so customers. Are you having problems with Win 10.2.3? Hit me here in the comments, or over on AskWoody.com. Source: Last-minute Win10 Anniversary Update patch, 14393.10, may break Cortana (InfoWorld - Woody Leonhard)
  24. Surprise, surprise. If things remain as they are, Windows 10 users who upgrade to the Anniversary Update won't be able to turn off Cortana anymore using the Cortana settings. If you compare the start menu settings of Cortana of the current version of Windows (version 1511) with those of the Anniversary Update (version 1607) you will notice that Cortana's off switch is no longer available (thanks Ian Paul @ PC World for spotting that) Cortana, the digital assistant that Microsoft touts as one of the major features of Windows 10 supports interaction via touch, typing, ink and voice. Microsoft integrated Cortana deeply with the native search functionality of Windows 10. While linked to search, Windows 10 users may turn off Cortana currently to use search without it. While you might have to turn off web searches on Windows 10 as well, doing so ensured that you got search functionality that matched those of previous versions of Windows. Windows users who turned off Cortana had two main reasons for it: either they did not need Cortana functionality, or they did not want it because of privacy implications. Windows 10 version 1511 vs 1607 The screenshot above shows the off switch that is currently available if you run version 1511 of Windows 10 or previous versions of the operating system. You may turn off Cortana directly using the menu, or use the Group Policy Editor for that instead. Do the following to open the Cortana settings: Tap on the Windows-key and start to type. Click on the preferences icon on the left to open the settings. There you find options to turn off Cortana, turn off online search and device history search. Microsoft changed the settings in the Anniversary Update. You access them in exactly the same way as before, but will notice that they are completely different to before. You find options to disable "Hey Cortana", Cortana on the Lock Screen, disable Cortana taskbar tidbits, disable sending notifications between devices, disable history view, disable my device history, and select the language you want Cortana to use. Does that mean that you cannot turn of Cortana anymore? It is still possible to turn off Cortana, but not by using the preferences. The policy to disable Cortana is still available and you may use it to turn off Cortana on the device. Please note that the Group Policy Editor is only available in professional versions of Windows 10. Most notably, it is not available in Windows 10 Home. Check out this guide to find out which version of Windows is installed on a computer. Skip the next paragraph and go to the Registry option instead as it will work on Home devices as well. Tap on the Windows-key, type gpedit.msc and hit enter. Use the left folder hierarchy to go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search. Locate Allow Cortana and double-click on it to open the policy. Set it to disabled to turn off Cortana. You can undo the change at any time by repeating the process outlined above. Set Allow Cortana either to "not configured" or "enabled" to reset the preference to its original value and turn on Cortana again. Disable Cortana by editing the Registry If you cannot or won't use the Group Policy option to disable Cortana, you may use the Registry instead to do so. Tap on the Windows-key, type regedit.exe and hit enter. Confirm the UAC prompt that is displayed. Go to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search If AllowCortana exists already, jump to step 7. Right-click on Windows Search and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value. Name it AllowCortana. Double-click on AllowCortana and set its value to 0 to disable the feature. Closing Words While it is still possible to turn off Cortana on devices running Windows 10's Anniversary Update, it is less obvious how to do so. Article source
  25. Windows 10's Anniversary Editions brings a ton of tiny fixes and features including some new additions to Cortana. It also stops you from completely turning off Cortana. This means that Windows 10's personal assistant is always there, always listening, always ready to serve. And that might spook people who care about their privacy and security. While you may not be able to get rid of Cortana, you can restrict it, giving it less access and making it dump the data that it has on you. You can also hide the AI so you feel less inclined to use it. Here's how to restrict and hide Cortana in Windows 10: 1. Go to Settings > Privacy. 2. Change your privacy options to decide what data to send to Microsoft. This doesn't affect Cortana, but you might as well do it while you're here. 3. Go to "Speech, inking & typing" in the left rail. 4. Click "Stop getting to know me." 5. Click "Turn off." Cortana will stop tracking searches, what you type and your handwriting. Clear Cortana's Existing Data 1. Open settings in Cortana. Here you can also decide if you want Cortana to listen for you to say "Hey Cortana," both on the desktop or the lock screen. 2. Scroll all the way to the bottom and click Clear. If you use Cortana again after clearing your data, you'll need to come back here to erase it again. Hiding Cortana 1. Right-click on the taskbar. 2. Choose Cortana > Hidden. Cortana will disappear from the taskbar. If you have it set to answer to "Hey Cortana," it will reappear with the voice command. Alternatively, you can still use the Cortana app from the start menu. If you want Cortana back in the taskbar, right click the taskbar again and select "Show search box." Source: http://www.laptopmag.com/articles/stop-cortana-windows-10-anniversary
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