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New Standalone Cortana Beta App Coming to Windows 10 Insiders

In the latest Windows 10 Insider build, Microsoft is testing a new hidden standalone Cortana app that gives us a glimpse of the future for Microsoft's personal assistant.

According to Windows sleuth Albacore, in the Windows 10 Insider build 18922, Cortana and Microsoft are now officially separated with search having the ability to run in its own app called "SearchApp" and Cortana getting its own app.

Albacore found that Microsoft is testing moving the personal assistant into its own standalone app currently called Cortana Beta.

To get access to the new app, Albacore states you can either enable hidden features using mach-2 or launch the app via the Run: dialog.

"If you'd like to enable this yourself, the feature is called UseNewSearchAndCortanaApps with the ID 19263623. You should have SearchAndCortanaSplit (17983783) active alongside too. Alternatively, just pop a Run prompt [Win+R] and run "ms-cortana2:" You need to be on 18922."

For a quick test, BleepingComputer utilized the Run: command ms-cortana2: and the app launched for us to play with.

Taking a look at the Cortana Beta app

When the Cortana Beta app is launched for the first time, users will be asked to login to a Microsoft account. You will then be asked to give the app permission to a variety of information in the account and on the computer as shown below.

Once started, you will be shown a standalone Cortana app that you can ask questions and receive answers like you normally would.

You can also access the apps settings where you can configure your skills and organizer.

The Cortana Beta app is still very much in development, and while fun to play with, users will most likely find bugs and other issues that make you want to wait until it is officially released.

This app does, though, give us a glimpse into the personal assistant's future and the direction Microsoft is taking with Cortana.

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