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Microsoft makes key change to Windows setup process

You just want to get the whole thing over and done with painlessly, but they won’t let you. You have to sit there quietly, trying to get the occasional word in while politely listening to the annoying voice that rattles on and on without even taking so much as a single breath.

No, I’m not referring to the friend of yours who talks too much; that’s a first-world problem affecting almost everyone so you’re on your own there. This time, I’m talking about a digital voice assistant that annoyingly tries to help when you don’t want it and didn’t ask for it.

We need to talk about Cortana, Microsoft’s personal digital assistant baked into Windows 10, who always seems to show up at the wrong time. Now Microsoft is finally holding an intervention and dealing with one of the assistant’s most frustrating features. The only problem is, it’s not for everyone.

The refreshing sound of silence

Once upon a time, Microsoft thought it would be a good idea for PC users to use only their voice when performing clean installs of Windows 10. That was way back in 2017 when Cortana was put in place to offload seemingly mundane installation tasks like setting up your Wi-Fi and other personalizations.

Maybe you’ve found it helpful during the setup process, maybe not. But based on “feedback,” Microsoft has decided disable Cortana by default during clean installs of Pro, Enterprise and Education versions of Windows. Sorry, Home users, you’ll still be subject to the unsolicited assistance, but this change should at the very least help keep your company’s IT staff from the brink of insanity when setting up multiple PCs at once.

This is one of the changes coming with the next big Windows update, and currently available as Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18309 (19H1) for Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring. There are also a number of other changes, including Microsoft’s mission to rid the planet of passwords. Read about that and the other updates through this Microsoft blog post.

Here’s hoping Microsoft has a better year

These changes and updates should arrive for the next big Windows update, which should arrive in April. But hopefully Microsoft has a better year than 2018, when their updates and patches were plagued with bugs and multiple reports of the dreaded Blue Screen of Death.

Bonus: Got Microsoft Office? Get this new Windows 10 app for free

But if all goes to plan with the update, this Cortana modification should be welcomed as a helpful change. Maybe your friend never gets the hint that they talk too much, but at least Microsoft finally did.

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