Windows 10 Will Allow Other Assistants to Launch from the Lock Screen

The upcoming Windows 10 19H2, which is due in September, will introduce a new change over the way digital assistants work on the operating system.

Beginning with this update, third-party assistants will be allowed to run even if the device is locked, which means they are permitted to launch from the lock screen.

Until now, this was an exclusive feature of Cortana, the native Windows 10 digital assistant, but now Microsoft is opening the operating system to more of its rivals, including Amazon’s Alexa.

In fact, Alexa is the first one to benefit from this new approach. Amazon launched its Alexa app for Windows 10 last year, and a few months ago, Microsoft started allowing the company to offer this digital assistant pre-installed on Windows 10 devices.

With today’s update, users can invoke Alexa by simply shouting its name, even if the device is locked.

Windows 10 19H2 testing builds for Slow ring insiders

At the same time, this also signals a change of mind that Microsoft has over Cortana. The software giant is making Cortana a second-class citizen in Windows 10, at least as far as consumers are concerned, as the digital assistant would be a more enterprise-focused feature.

Cortana will no longer be part of the Windows 10 search experience, and instead, it will be moved to its very own dedicated app in the operating system. Cortana will also be published in the Microsoft Store as a separate app, so Microsoft could separate its updates from the ones aimed at Windows 10.

Windows 10 19H2 is still in development stage, and users can try out the changes that it’s supposed to bring by joining the Slow ring of the Windows Insider program. 19H2, however, is unlikely to bring as many improvements as a typical feature update, focusing instead on refinements under the hood of the OS.


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