Microsoft boots Google search from its Cortana AI helper in Windows 10

29 Apr 2016

Microsoft's Cortana will only work with Bing and Windows 10's Edge browser, ostensibly to enable a richer experience for users

In a major update to its Cortana artificial intelligence assistant in Windows 10, Microsoft is blocking the ability for users to use third-party search services like Google, instead ushering them in the direction of Bing.

In addition, all searches done through Cortana will be piped through Microsoft’s Edge browser, which debuted with Windows 10 last year.

Microsoft said in a blog post that the change is designed to ensure users get the most out of their Windows 10 experience.

‘Microsoft Edge will be the only browser that will launch when you search from the Cortana box’

“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,” explained Ryan Gavin, general manager of Search and Cortana at Microsoft.

“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 personalised, end-to-end search experience is through the integration of Cortana, Microsoft Edge and Bing – all designed to do more for you.

“Starting today, to ensure we can deliver the integrated search experience designed for Windows 10, Microsoft Edge will be the only browser that will launch when you search from the Cortana box.”

Enriching the search experience in Windows 10

Gavin said users can continue to use their search engine and browser of choice on Windows 10, just without the Cortana voice-based assistant.

He said the changes are about enriching the experiences users can get from Cortana and Bing searches.

“As we look ahead, we are continuing to invest in these end-to-end personal search experiences and you will begin to see even more benefits from this integration.

“This includes scenarios like searching ‘get tickets to Rihanna show’ in the Cortana box, where Microsoft Edge opens to Bing, and Cortana finds the best tickets for your preferences and offers to purchase them on your behalf.

“Or when you search ‘catch me up on the election’ in the Cortana box, Microsoft Edge opens to Bing, and a dynamic reading list is created with the latest election news for your Microsoft Edge reading list.”

Windows 10 image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years