MICROSOFT'S WINDOWS THRESHOLD, the codename for the successor to the firm's maligned Windows 8.x operating system, is likely to run its virtual assistant Cortana.
The Siri rival, named after a character from the Halo game franchise, has been successfully adapted for the desktop environment and is now ready to be considered for inclusion in the final build.
Transfer of Cortana to the desktop has been experimental and there has been no decision made as to whether Cortana will definitely be part of "Windows 9", but the successful integration into nightly builds makes it more likely that a future shipped version will have Cortana onboard.
Cortana was revealed earlier this year at the Microsoft BUILD conference in San Francisco as part of Windows Phone 8.1, which debuted at the event.
At present, Cortana is available only to US users and though a UK version is imminent, reports say that Cortana's level of personality at launch will be more Katie Price than Kaley Cuoco.
As Microsoft is the last of the major software vendors to offer an integrated virtual assistant, Cortana's abilities are still growing, but at a rate that suggests that by the time Microsoft releases Windows Threshold, it will be something special.
Although Cortana hasn't crossed over to Microsoft's Xbox yet, the games console does have voice control. Earlier this year, Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul caused Xbox One consoles across the world to power up after shouting "Xbox on" in a television commercial. µ