Windows 9 Release Date, Beta: ‘Threshold’ to Have Cortana and Virtual Desktops

The next Windows operating system could have a personal digital assistant and run virtual desktops.

According to, Windows 9 will have a Cortana app.

Cortana is a personal digital assistant similar to its iOS counterpart, Siri.

Like the Windows Phone 8.1 version, Cortana will be an app and not be integrated into the operating system.

Unlike the Windows Phone 8.1 app, however, Cortana is not a “full screen exeprience,” and rather, will allow users to “either type in your question or ask verbally inside a smallish window.”

“The app itself currently looks similar to that of Windows Phone, but takes up roughly 25% of your display with Cortana being in the center; Cortana maintains her circle shape and is animated too,” Neowin writer Brad Sams writes.

Brad also notes that Cortana could be in the final version of Windows 9 because it has moved to a “more stable release cycle.”

Another upcoming Windows 9 feature that could make the final cut in is the addition of virtual desktops.

Windows 9 users could create separate active desktops and switch between them via a button on the taskbar.

Tom Warren from The Verge notes that the inclusion of remote desktops “shows Microsoft is serious about pleasing existing Windows users with its renewed focus on the desktop.”

A Windows 9 preview could be some time in 2014, and might be released in spring 2015.

Windows 9 could also be a free update for existing users of Windows platforms.