Microsoft’s Cortana is an incredibly useful tool for both users and Microsoft. For users, it provided them with a bevy of features that allowed them to organise their day, for Microsoft it funnelled users into Microsoft’s Edge browser and Bing search engine. Enterprising users got around this by changing the default browser and/or using an extension in Chrome to route the searches through Google, but Microsoft is having none of that.
In a post released today on the Windows experience blog, Microsoft claims that interfering with Cortana’s workflow in this way circumvents the purpose of Cortana and prevents it from working as optimally as possible- to that end the firm is locking down Cortana to Microsoft Edge browser only.
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.
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.
Microsoft – no doubt attempting to prevent antitrust accusations – points out that users can still use other search engines and browsers and highlights Windows 10 default app selection which is available for power-users. This move makes sense when you think about what Cortana is. The virtual assistant is a front-end for Microsoft’s Bing service – which is more than a search engine. If one reroutes or redirects Cortana searches, the overall experience is compromised as one would not be able to complete the query as it was intended.
What do you think of this move? Let us know in the comments below.