If you’re a Windows Insider, searching for and opening files in Windows 10 doesn’t require typing anymore, as you can do it with your voice instead.
The Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20270 (FE RELEASE) has just been released into the Dev Channel and it includes a new File Skill in Cortana. Basically, Microsoft implemented voice commands for dealing with files on your Windows device. There are, or course, a few prerequsites for using the skill.
As well as requiring the latest Insider Preview Build to try this new skill out, users will need to be signed in to a Microsoft account, be that an Outlook.com or Hotmail.com account, for this to work. Once signed in, it’s possible to use Cortana to find any files saved locally on a PC. For enterprise users, signing in with corporate credentials allows the file searches to extend to OneDrive For Business and SharePoint, as well as local files. The only other restriction for now is you need to be an English speaker located in the US.
Microsoft gives a number of examples of the types of voice searches that can be performed, including the following:
Parts of file names (Example: “Hey Cortana, opening marketing deck.”)
Author names (Example: “Hey Cortana, open budget Excel from Anthony”)
Find a document you have been editing (Example: “Hey Cortana, find my recent files”)
Find a document of a particular type (Example: “Hey Cortana, find my recent pdfs”)
It has the potential to be a popular feature, especially considering file searches can take some time depending on how big your hard drive is and the extent of the search. Asking Cortana to perform a search as you get up to go make a coffee is very convenient, for example.
We won’t be getting a similar feature appearing for Cortana on Android or iOS, though, as those apps are set to be retired early next year.