Microsoft Starts Hitting Mute on Cortana's Annoying Windows 10 Setup Voiceover

Windows 10 surpasses Windows 7 to become most popular desktop OS

Three years after launch, Microsoft Windows 10 surpasses Windows 7 in market share

However, if you're someone like an IT pro (or a friendly neighbourhood tech reviewer) who regularly has to wipe and configure a bunch of machines, Cortana's persistent blathering can drive you and everyone in your vicinity bonkers.

Microsoft rolled out its new password-less sign-in option to Windows 10 Home edition insiders in December with build 18305 and, with the new 18309 build, has now made it available to insiders on all editions. If silencing Cortana with Preview Build 18309 is a gift to professional Windows 10 users, expanding password-less Microsoft accounts to every version of Windows 10 is Microsoft's gift to itself. Check it out in today's build by clicking the "I forgot my PIN" link when signing in to Windows with a PIN.

I mean, sure, these numbers could flip again, but with new Windows PCs/laptops being nearly exclusively sold with 10 pre-installed, software sellers generally pushing 10 over 7, and Microsoft due to finally end official support for 7 in 2020, it doesn't look good for The Resistance. Not by a massive margin, admittedly - which is nearly certainly because you hate it so much- but the graph's only trending one way now, in flagrant ignorance of how much you hate Windows 10.

Microsoft has also removed the Cortana voice-over from Windows 10 setup for enterprise users. Instead, you will have to wait for it to finish talking instead of being able to just skip a certain part. Once you've set up the account, you can use Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint, or a PIN to log in Windows 10.

All told, Windows 10 is now installed on 700 million systems. Although this offer officially ended on July 29th, 2016, it is still technically possible to go through the process on a Windows 7/8.1 PC.

If you've set up a Windows computer in recent months, you've likely met Microsoft's digital assistant Cortana.

Compounding the frustration is that while Microsoft is using Cortana to improve the accessibility of Windows setup, it hasn't actually done a very good job.

Also on the ease of access front, Microsoft has added 11 new mouse pointer sizes under Cursor and Pointers settings, to make for 15 choices in total. Thursday's release extends that support to all Windows 10 editions, according to a Microsoft blog post. It now accounts for 39.22% of usage compared to 36.9% for Windows 7.

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