In a move that is certain to raise eyebrows the world over, Microsoft has blocked Cortana from searching Google in Windows 10. The voice-based virtual assistant now only performs searches using Microsoft's own Bing search service.
The company on Thursday in a blog post titled 'Delivering Personalised Search Experiences in Windows 10 Through Cortana' explained its reasons for the move. It essentially comes down to the company wanting to provide "an integrated search experience" in Windows 10, which will enable Cortana to anticipate users' requirements, help them complete their tasks, and even help save time and money.
Examples of such integrated, personalised search experiences were detailed by Microsoft on the blog post.
Search for "Pizza Hut" in the Cortana box and, once you're on the Pizza Hut website in Microsoft Edge, Cortana can show you your closest locations.
Search for "Bluetooth not working" in the Cortana box and Bing gives you a rich video help answer only available on Windows 10 as a Bing search result.
Shopping for a new black dress in Microsoft Edge, do an image search in Bing and then right click a dress to Ask Cortana to get you more information on it.
Search for "Best Buy" in the Cortana box, click through on the top web result to bestbuy.com, and Cortana will offer up coupons to save you money. The list goes on and on.
So, why can't Google search be used for this purpose? Microsoft says "Cortana was designed to work with Microsoft Edge and is powered by Bing." It adds that a third-party search provider, one that was not designed to work with Cortana, would make the Windows 10 search experience "less reliable and predictable." The Redmond-giant elaborated further, and said the continuity of task completion scenarios if "Cortana can't depend on Bing as the search provider and Microsoft Edge as the browser."Starting Thursday, Cortana in Windows 10 will only search Bing, while Microsoft Edge will be the only browser to launch when users search via Cortana. Microsoft reassures users that they will still be able to use whichever browser and search engine they want on the Windows 10 platform, but just not via Cortana.