It’s Windows 10 upgrade day today, which means many Windows users eligible for a free update will turn their Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines into Windows 10 PCs. Mac users looking to run Windows 10 side-by-side with Yosemite or El Capitan will have to wait a while, but it’ll be worth it.
An image showing Parallels Desktop for Mac version 11 leaked a few days ago, Apple Insider reports, revealing that Mac users will be able to use Microsoft’s voice assistant on Mac even when Windows is not the forefront application.
That means you could say “Hey, Cortana” at any time to issue supported commands to the assistant (but make sure you activate the feature first in Windows 10 settings), even when using regular OS X apps.
Obviously, you won’t be able to issue commands related to OS X apps — Cortana can’t do that. But the voice-based assistant can be used to set up reminders, manage your calendar, find files, and stuff like that. And that can certainly be useful, especially if you’re the kind of professional who ties together for certain tasks OS X, Windows, iOS and other operating systems with the help of the cloud.
Apple is yet to integrate Siri support in OS X, with Microsoft being the first company of the pack leading the mobile and desktop OS businesses to add its voice assistant to the desktop.
Parallels is yet to announce version 11, and the leaked page that showed this neat hidden feature for Mac users isn’t online any longer.
Windows 10 can be used on Mac with Parallels 10, but you won’t get always-on Cortana access that way. It’s not clear how much Parallels 11 will cost, but it’s clear that this leaked Cortana functionality might be one of the features that should convince you to upgrade the virtualization software.