Windows users aren’t abandoning it in droves, rather they’re just not upgrading past Windows 7 unless they buy a machine and are forced to. Let’s face it – the metro style and new navigation/workflow in Windows 8 was awful. 8.1 has seem some improvement and we can only hope it gets good enough for the masses to make the jump.

The return of the Start menu and other core desktop features is enough to make many PC users excited for Windows 9’s big release next year but now Neowin reports that Microsoft’s next big OS is getting another killer feature: Cortana. Cortana, the voice-enabled personal assistant that Microsoft unveiled earlier this year with Windows Phone 8.1, is apparently a prime candidate to make the transition to Windows 9 and Neowin says that the software “is no longer in the phase where it is ‘let us see if this works’ to a ‘let us push this forward and see if we can ship it’ stage.” That’s some quick progress since release (though it’s been in development for some time)

Initially, the desktop version of Cortana won’t be a full-screen app like the one on Windows Phone but is merely relegated to a “smallish window” where you can type or talk to ask it questions. Neowin also says that the integration into Windows 9 at the moment isn’t all that deep although that’s expected to improve vastly in the months leading up to Windows 9’s release. Cortana has earned some rave reviews from early adopters and it seems as though Microsoft really has built a genuine competitor for Siri and Google Now. Being able to get this great feature on your desktop computer could be a great way to hook more people into the Windows Phone ecosystem as well. We know that Google is baking it into Chrome, but until we’re all running ChromeOS (not likely) that’s not nearly as tight as Cortana would be. If Windows 9 cleans up it’s act, wouldn’t Cortana be a major value-add?

Windows 9 new features: Cortana on track to be released | BGR.