The Cortana voice assistant in Windows 10 lets you ask questions, issue commands, and perform tasks with the tap of a finger or sound of your voice.
But Cortana has another trick up its sleeve, one designed to save you money. When you use the Microsoft Edge browser in Windows 10 to check out restaurants or shop online, Cortana can jump in to provide information and even money-saving offers.
Browse to certain retail web pages, and Cortana displays a message offering coupons to get you hot deals on various products. Cortana can tap into coupons from Best Buy, Macy's, Home Depot, Target, and a host of other online merchants. Browse to certain restaurant web pages, and Cortana displays contact information as well as reviews from Yelp, so you'll know if dining at a certain restaurant is worth your hard-earned cash.
To get the best results, you'll want to enable Cortana's help in Microsoft Edge. Open Edge, and click on the More icon () on the top right, and click Settings. Scroll down and click on the button to "View advanced settings." Scroll down to the Privacy and services section, and turn on the switch to "Have Cortana assist me in Microsoft Edge," if it's not already enabled.
Let's try to hunt down some money-saving coupons at various retailers, beginning with Best Buy's website. At the right side of the URL field, Cortana asks "Can I interest you in a coupon?"
Click on that question, and a sidebar pops up with some money-saving deals.
Click on one of the links to "Read fine print" for a specific deal. A Cortana page pops up with all the details on the deal, including which product or products are included, how much you can save, and whether the offer is good online and/or in-store.
Here's another money-saving offer from Sears. At the right side of the URL field, Cortana asks "Can I interest you in a coupon?"
Click on that question, and the sidebar pops up with current deals.
Click on one of the links to "Read more." Another Cortana page appears with details on the offer.
Now let's see if that restaurant is worth your time and money. Using Edge, browse to a restaurant website; we'll use the website for Sardi's, the famous New York City restaurant where theater folk gather to nosh and schmooze, as an example. At the right area of the address field, Edge makes its presence known with an orange circle and a line that reads: "I've got directions, hours, and more."
Click on that line, and Edge opens a sidebar on the right with lots of details on the restaurant, including its address, location, phone number, and hours, as well as links to call, get directions, and look at the menu.
Scroll down the sidebar, and you'll see reviews of the restaurant courtesy of Yelp, followed by photos of the establishment. Reading the various reviews can help you decide if you'd like to give the restaurant a shot.
You can try your luck at a variety of retail outlets and restaurants. Many don't support the Cortana integration, but a lot do. So you should find some sites that cough up the cash-saving offers and detailed reviews and other information.