Cortana is in Windows 10 Tech Preview
So I was browsing around the file system, like I do any new OS I play around with to see what new exe’s I find, and what easter eggs I can find… I found something kind of cool. I’m not sure if someone else has found it as well, but Cortana is installed in the Windows 10 Tech Preview, or at least a light version so far. I was browsing around the Windows Store folder that’s in your AppData folder and I saw a folder called Microsoft.Cortana(gobaltygouk). That immediately peeked my interest.
I thought maybe the app was hidden in the system somewhere, but I knew my account… even though I’m an administrator, wouldn’t have access to parts of the system, so I wanted complete access. So I locked my station because I already have access to run this thing as the System account (which is like root) so that I can see everything on the machine without limitation, I found a couple :-).
So I then tried to access the WindowsApps directory to see if there’s an actual app installed on the machine, I guess in hindsight I could have just changed the owner to my user and just browsed the directory, but eh, I already have access to the System account. I then cd’ed to the directory and sure enough instant access :-) MUHAHAHAHAAA!! I then dir’ed for anything with Cortana in it and got two hits.
Alright, SO what breaks if I rename the directory?? I go back to the GUI side and give my account ownership of the folder WindowsApps folder. I then rename the folder for Cortana and try clicking on the search option and “Something went wrong.” Well I guess we now know this Cortana folder has something to do with the search functionality for Windows 10.
So, the search feature that’s in Windows 10 is using Cortana, or at least a portion of Cortana, and they just haven’t turned the full thing on yet. I’m not able to launch any of the exe’s so this is just a metro/modern app being used by Windows. I’m not able to run the exe “searchui.exe.”
The security catalog for the app lists September 12 2014.
This was just ~an hour of research, I’m sure over time me and others will be able to find more things that might be hidden away in this preview, or future updates. I don’t think personally this is a HUGE fine, but I thought it was interesting and wanted to share. If I find more things I will defiantly share them with you all :-).
Let me know what you think of this article on twitter @martinoj2009!