A reader had a question about Cortana, the digital assistant in Windows 10 that you can control with voice activation. “Do you have to have a microphone to install and speak with Cortanta?”

You don’t have to have a microphone to use Cortana. You can simply type in your questions or commands for her, just as you would with any other search feature.

cortana-weather

One neat thing about Cortana, even without voice control, is that she understands natural language. That means you can just ask her, “How do I change the picture on my desktop?” instead of searching for “Desktop settings.”

Of course, Cortana won’t be able to hear you without a microphone. The voice controls are fun, but not necessary to use Cortana.¬† However, microphones don’t have to be expensive. I’m using a pretty cheap model attached to a headset for Cortana and it works pretty well.

You should be able to find  an inexpensive stand microphone for less than $10 and headsets with microphones are available for just a little bit more.

Also, many laptops actually already have built-in microphones that you may not be using.

Bottom line, a microphone is nice to have and Cortana is fun to use, but it’s not necessary to use Windows 10.

~ Cynthia