The latest Windows 10 preview build brings improvements to font management and the Start Menu. But the thing I’m most excited about is that Microsoft is separating Search from Cortana.

Starting with Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18317, users will see two separate items in the Windows taskbar: a search box and a Cortana icon. Clicking the search box will let you use the Windows search tool to find content on your device or on the web, while clicking Cortana will open Microsoft’s digital assistant service.

Microsoft says uncoupling the two features will allow the company to bring updates and improvements to each independently of the other. But it’s also good news for folks that want to use search, but not Cortana (or vice versa).

Up until now Microsoft has let you choose between showing a search bar or Cortana icon on the taskbar, but they both opened Cortana. There’s also third option that lets you hide the icon/bar altogether, since you can still invoke search/Cortana just by opening the Start Menu and typing.

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3 replies on “Microsoft is splitting up Search and Cortana for Windows 10”

  1. Oh good, I’ve been caught out one too many times by hitting the windows key, typing to search for something on my PC, then hitting enter and bing pops up with search results for “chrome”, “origin” and the like. Sometimes I specifically want to use the assistant (e.g. “weather forecast”) so I don’t want to lose the assistant completely.

  2. Cool. I always disable/not use the AI assistant in smartphones and Windows devices. These things somewhat creeps me out. Of course, I don’t have any of those home assistant/speaker devices either.

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