Cortana in Windows 10 will support six new countries including Japan, Australia, and Canada

cortana in windows 10 will support six new countries including japan australia and canada v2
Cortana, Microsoft’s spunky intelligent assistant, has long been a part of stateside Windows 10 Insider releases, but international users have so far missed out. That’ll change with the launch of Windows 10 on July 29 — Microsoft announced today in a blog post that it’ll bring Cortana to the UK, China, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. Simultaneously, Microsoft says, Cortana will launch as part of the Windows Insider Program in Japan, Australia, Canada (in English), and India, and later this year will come to Brazil, Mexico, and Canada (in French).

The reason for the holdup, wrote Microsoft’s Marcus Ash in a related statement, was localization. Tailoring Cortana to individual countries and cultures required “embracing thoughtful customization” with “a local team of writers, editors, programmers, and voice talent” in each market, some of which are highly idiosyncratic. Customers in China wanted an assistant “whose voice sounded like she was smiling,” for instance, while UK users indicated a preference for “a voice that sounds easy-going […] with slightly self-deprecating modesty.”

Beyond adhering to linguistic peculiarities like idioms and speech patterns, Microsoft says it “[ensured] Cortana’s functionality fit the market’s needs.” In China, Cortana tracks air quality data, while in Italy, it reflects that country’s patriotism by playing the national anthem when prompted to sing. It shows exceeding politeness in Japan by defaulting to a bow, and shows an appropriate reverence for hockey in Canada.

“We craft Cortana’s local personality based on insights about each culture while at the same time staying true to the foundational principles that are universal to all markets: Cortana is positive, confident, intelligent and transparent,” Ash wrote. “Our goal with Cortana is to deliver a culturally relevant, approachable and helpful assistant as part of a great experience on Windows 10 devices.”

Support for the new countries will hit the general Windows 10 populace eventually, but consider opting into Microsoft’s Insider Program if you’d like an early look.

Product Review

Glas may be gorgeous, but this spendy thermostat is no smarter than the rest

A stunning OLED screen tops the prettiest thermostat we’ve reviewed in years. But GLAS lacks the brains required to justify its premium price. Read more about it in our full review.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Computing

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up speech-to-text in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.
Computing

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Computing

Turn your iPad into a display for your new Mac Mini with this workaround

The folks at Luna Display have figured out a workaround which lets you get the best of both worlds and use Wi-Fi and an adapter in order to turn your iPad into a display for the 2018 Mac Mini.
Computing

Latest SMS breach could allow hackers access to your online accounts

A new security breach that exposed more than 26 million text messages could be a huge nightmare for users relying on two-factor authentication. Many of the SMS on the database contained security codes and account reset links.
Computing

Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mail client goes freemium with the introduction of ads

Microsoft Windows Insiders are finding a nasty surprise inside the Mail app on the latest Windows 10 preview build in the form of banner ads. These ads will appear in the Mail app regardless of the webmail service you use.
Computing

All the best Apple MacBook deals for Black Friday 2018

Shoppers looking for a new Apple laptop could find huge savings on a new MacBook come Black Friday. Retailers are offering discounts as much as $650 on select MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models this holiday season.
Computing

Apple discontinues AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule as it exits Wi-Fi router business

Apple is now officially no longer in the router business. The company had already stopped selling the AirPort Express, and now its retail stores and websites have stopped offering the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule.
Computing

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.
Computing

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.
Computing

PDF to JPG conversion is quick and easy using these simple methods

Converting file formats can be an absolute pain, but it doesn't have to be. We've put together a comprehensive guide on how to convert a PDF to JPG, no matter which operating system you're running.
Computing

Crypto hangover could take blame for Nvidia’s potential GeForce RTX 2060 delay

Nvidia's delay in announcing a ship date for its GeForce RTX 2060 GPU could be due to a burst in the cryptocurrency mining bubble. Executives blamed the crypto hangover for an oversupply of inventory on existing GTX 1060 cards,
Computing

Save $900 on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and more with Lenovo’s Cyber Monday sales

In the latest set of holiday sales, Lenovo is heavily discounting its fifth-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon and other popular Windows laptops and 2-in-1s for the holiday shopping season.