Windows 10 Consumer Preview is expected to be announced next month during a special event hosted by Microsoft, but up until now, no specifics have been provided on the feature lineup of this important release.
However, according to some recent leaks, Windows 10 Consumer Preview is very likely to bring several new features that were not included in the Technical Preview, among which an early version of Cortana which would allow users to perform a number of tasks with voice commands.
As you can see in the first picture included in this article, the Windows 10 build that's currently available for Microsoft partners comes with Cortana's icon on the taskbar, which obviously enables users to access its features with a single click.
Although it might seem otherwise, there's nothing unusual about this screenshot, as the user who runs the existing Windows 10 installation switched to the high-contrast theme.
Windows 10 Technical Preview build 9879 already comes with Cortana implementations in the PC settings screen, but the personal assistant is not yet ready for users, so the Consumer Preview build is very likely to be the first release of Windows 10 that would give testers the possibility to try this Windows Phone feature.
Cortana is expected to arrive in full version in the final tidbits of Windows 10, which, according to sources, should debut in mid-2015.
People close to the development process have also indicated that Microsoft is working on Cortana behind closed doors and only a few employees actually get access to the feature in order to try it out on the traditional PC.
Cortana for Windows 10 should come with exactly the same features as on Windows Phone, so expect the personal assistant to help you perform a number of tasks with voice commands, such as posting tweets, settings alarms and reminders, and searching the web.
At the same time, we're hearing that Microsoft is also working to implement more features specifically tailored for the desktop, but at this point, the company's main priority is to bring the digital assistant on the PC and then concentrate on things that need to be improved.
The Consumer Preview version of Windows 10 is expected to make its first public appearance in January, while the stable build should see daylight in mid-2015 if development goes according to plan. A working version of Cortana could also be released in the next build, but nothing is confirmed so far.