Microsoft seems to be working towards a new conversational UI for Cortana. Reports have revealed that Redmond is testing a brand new UI for its voice assistant, aiming to take on the Google Assistant app on Android.
Currently, conversational UI mimics a text conversation. It encourages users to type their query, hit send and receive a popup in the UI like a text message. Then, a digital assistant –in this case Cortana– will respond back to the user in the same way.
Of course, voice input will be available just like on Google Assistant. Users can choose between their voice or typing, and the assistant understands both.
According to the report, Microsoft is working on a conversational UI for Cortana that will enable the assistant to reply with her voice in addition to the text.
In addition, Microsoft is apparently getting ready to move Cortana into the System Tray rather next to the Start button. Should the company bring a conversational UI on its voice assistant, the “Search” bar would not make sense for an assistant that uses a chat-base design.
Cortana to the System Tray
According Thurrott, Redmond has been working to move Cortana into the System Tray for some time now. Microsoft considers its voice assistant to be an integral part of Windows 10 and Cortana currently “lives” on the taskbar.
However, having a feature on the taskbar means you have to give users the option to remove it. Microsoft isn't eager to do that having invested much on Cortana, therefore the company appears ready to move the voice assistant to the System Tray.
That move combined with a possible new conversational UI would lead to the Cortana chat opening on the right side of the screen.
As with every early rumor concerning new features, Microsoft could “kill” this before publishing it, or even change it dramatically before sending it to Windows Insiders. However, it is safe to assume that Redmond is working on some changes for Cortana which could see the assistant change “homes” and/or gain a new UI.