Want to navigate Windows without lifting a finger? Meet Cortana. Microsoft's virtual assistant works a lot like Siri or Google Now, following voice commands that make getting around the system a little easier.
If you already use Siri, Google Now, or Cortana on your mobile phone, then you probably already know a lot of Cortana's commands.
Try commands that ask for the weather (How's the weather in _____?) or look for nearby restaurants. You can also create reminders, search the Web (for things like puppy photos pictured here), add appointments to your calendar, and send emails.
In addition to answering voice commands, Cortana also includes what I'm calling a "dashboard." It works much like Google Now, serving up timely news, local weather, restaurant recommendations and even information on your upcoming flights and deliveries.
To customize the dashboard, click Cortana's text field, head to the Notebook, and dig through the many categories. Each one has its own unique options, like adding a your favorite types of cuisines.
Even though you'll mostly use Cortana on your desktop, she's also at your beck and call in Microsoft's Edge browser.
At launch, there are two ways to use Cortana on the Web. The first is that when you're searching for a place, like a restaurant, you'll see Cortana's logo pulse in the top bar. Click that, and she'll serve up more information, including hours, photos, and reviews.
The second way to use Cortana on the Web is a little hidden.
Highlight a word (in this case a person's name), right-click it, and select "Ask Cortana." In milliseconds, Cortana will share more information about what you highlighted, and even find news related to it.
It's a simple way to quickly grab information or a definition without leaving what you're currently doing.