Will Windows 10 be the first desktop OS to get a personal assistant?

Microsoft is planning on bringing Cortana to Windows 10 next January, or that’s the word on the operating system street, anyway.

This rumour comes from an inside source of Mary Jo Foley’s (C-Net), but it is hardly unexpected, as we’ve heard quite a lot about Cortana supposedly making her (or its, perhaps) way over from Windows Phone to Redmond’s desktop OS.

Cortana is Microsoft’s digital assistant – or version of Siri, if you prefer – and previously there has been plenty of speculation about it coming to Windows 10, with references and Cortana files found in the OS just after the first Technical Preview was released.

Note that there’s a Consumer Preview of Windows 10 coming in January, but interestingly C-Net says that while this is still on schedule, Cortana “may” (in C-Net’s source’s words) wing her merry way across in the January Technical Preview – a new tech preview launched in that month.

And this will be followed by monthly releases of new Technical Previews, presumably adding new major new features as we go along. We guess if Cortana doesn’t make the January release, then February or March are very likely to see the assistant finally pitch up.

The January Technical Preview is also expected to see Continuum, a new feature which allows for an easy transition between touch and non-touch modes of operation, aimed particularly at hybrids like Microsoft’s own Surface (which can be used as a notebook, or a tablet in touch mode with the keyboard detached).

Lots of interesting goodies are just around the corner, in short…