Microsoft to separate Cortana from search with the next version of Windows 10

microsoft separating cortana from windows 10 search

Microsoft is decoupling Cortana from search in the taskbar with the next version of Windows 10 and is currently conducting beta testing with its Windows Insiders. The change will allow Microsoft to innovate on each of the two key Windows features independently and was officially announced in a blog post.

Testing was done with some Windows Insiders for a few weeks and was developed based on their feedback. With the change, clicking the search box in the taskbar will exclusively launch searches for files and documents, and clicking on the circular Cortana icon will instead trigger the digital assistant. Currently, it can be previewed by enrolling a PC in the Windows Insider program and then downloading the latest Fast Ring build, 18317. The preview version of Windows 10 is still unstable, but the separated Cortana and search will likely make it to the final version of Windows 10, currently code-named 19H1.

“For those new to this update, when it rolls out to you, you’ll find clicking the search box in the taskbar now launches our experience focused on giving you the best in-house search experience, and clicking the Cortana icon will launch you straight into our voice-first digital assistant experience,” explains Microsoft.

Though this might make it seem like Cortana is going away, Microsoft promises that the change is just one of several being made to improve on the overall Windows 10 experience. Over the past few months, it has been testing an “Enhanced Search” feature, given Windows 10 a new and lighter white theme, and introduced the ability for consumers to remove more of the pre-installed bloatware on their PCs. This same release also includes changes to font management and the Windows Insider Program settings page.

With some of the previous enhancements, Microsoft allowed for Windows 10 search to index and sort all folders and drives, instead of limiting it to the default documents, pictures, and videos folders. There’s still no solid date as of yet for when standard-non-beta Windows users can expect any of these features on their PCs. Windows 10 updates are usually pushed out around April, and then again around October, but Microsoft recently missed that time frame with the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

Computing

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

Google Chrome’s Progressive Web Apps will soon play nicer with Windows 10

Google is adding a capability to the Chrome browser in an upcoming release that will integrate its Progressive Web Apps with notification badges in the system taskbar in Windows 10.
Computing

Windows 7 is still immensely popular. Is it really better than Windows 10?

With the end of support of Windows 7 approaching, have you been holding off on upgrading to Windows 10? In this guide, we give look at some of the biggest differences between the most popular operating systems.
Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.
Computing

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.
Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. Here's how the impressive A.I. works.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Deals

Keep your MacBook safe and dry with an Under Armour backpack for under $50

Under Armour is having a huge sale this weekend to help you on your quest for a better backpack. The UA Outlet Exclusive sale is going on now through Monday, February 18th, offering great discounts on stormproof backpacks.
Deals

Walmart Presidents’ Day sale: Instant Pot, Google Home, and 4K TV deals

Presidents' Day weekend is one of the best times of the year to find deep discounts on 4K TVs, laptops, Instant Pots, clothes, mattresses, and furniture. And Walmart is offering deals on all of those things and more.
Computing

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.