Microsoft isn’t quite finished developing Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update after all: Four new features were added as part of Windows 10 Insider Build 16251, including new Cortana capabilities and more communication between Windows and your phone.
If there’s a theme to the new build, it’s following up on promises that Microsoft made earlier. At its Build developer conference, Microsoft promised that phones and Windows would begin to communicate with one another, so tasks begun on the phone could be completed on the desktop. Voice commands to shut down and reboot your PC have also been enabled via Cortana—who now has greater freedom to provide answers without launching a browser. Finally, if you do need to reboot your PC, you can program your PC to skip the authentication process.
Why this matters: Microsoft pledged to make the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update a tool for connectivity as much as creativity, with several key featuresthat are slowly rolling out to Insiders. (Several, such as Timeline, we have yet to see, however.) Personally, I like Cortana’s new capabilities more than anything else, though the phone-to-PC connectivity is a welcome foundation for future improvements.
Cortana’s pane in the side
One of Cortana’s minor annoyances is that when she can’t display the answer as a card or a short reply, she’ll automatically launch an Edge webpage. To me, this always felt like giving up. Now, Cortana will slide out an additional pane with, say, a weather forecast. If there is no card available, she’ll show the result with a little arrow next to it to launch a webpage.