Microsoft announced today that it made the decision to enforce the use of Microsoft Edge and Bing with Cortana on its Windows 10 operating system.
The introduction of the digital assistant Cortana on Windows 10 brought along with it major changes to the operating system's search functionality.
Windows 10 users can run web searches using Cortana, something that was not possible in previous versions of the operating sytem. While Windows users may disable the web search functionality on Windows 10, it is enabled by default and will use Bing and Microsoft Edge for that.
Web Search on Windows 10 works by querying Microsoft's Bing search engine when searches are made on the operating system.
Results are offered as web links which, when selected, open in the Microsoft Edge browser. These searches may use your location or other information for a personalized experience, or simply open a results page on Bing instead.
Examples that Microsoft provides to highlight web search on Windows 10 include searching for Pizza Hut to get the closest store next to you, or searching for Best Buy to get coupons for the site.
Depending on how the operating system and browsers are used, the search option may improve how users search for content on the Internet.
I make no use of it as I prefer to search directly in web browsers that are open anyway.
Programs like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox could take over the search functionality on Windows 10 up until now.
This would deliver results from the browser's search engine instead which could be any search engine and not just Bing.
Additionally, and that is probably the main reason why companies like Google or Mozilla added the option, results were opened in the third-party browser and not Microsoft Edge.
This, according to Microsoft, is no longer possible with today's change. Microsoft's reason for doing so is that the changing of the search provider and browser compromises the search experience on the operating system.
Unfortunately, as Windows 10 has grown in adoption and usage, we have seen some software programs circumvent the design of Windows 10 and redirect you to search providers that were not designed to work with Cortana.
The result is a compromised experience that is less reliable and predictable. The continuity of these types of task completion scenarios is disrupted if Cortana can’t depend on Bing as the search provider and Microsoft Edge as the browser.
The only way we can confidently deliver this personalized, end-to-end search experience is through the integration of Cortana, Microsoft Edge and Bing – all designed to do more for you.
Windows 10 users are limited to using Bing and Microsoft Edge when using Cortana's web search functionality.
A side effect of this is that it will boost Microsoft Edge and Bing as users don't have any other option anymore when it comes to web searches on the Windows 10 operating system. Some might even argue that this is the main reason for Microsoft's decision to block third-party search engines and browsers from hijacking Cortana's search functionality.
The change does not affect the default browser or search engine used by that browser on the other hand as Microsoft notes.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.