On Thursday, Microsoft starts blocking its rival browsers and other search providers from using its Cortana search box, which is considered by many as the OS’s primary search real estate.
“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. The result is a compromised experience that is less reliable and predictable.”
Then, it added:
“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.”
That means the Cortana search box found at the lower end of your Windows 10 desktop will only rely on Bing search engine.
But the changes made would not affect the features of non-Microsoft browsers. Microsoft assures that Chrome, Opera, Firefox and others would still continue to work well.
They can also work as they were before and would still default to their set providers when users made queries within those browsers.
However, the Cortana search box will only show results from Bing and Edge. You can’t blame the company for doing so. In addition to the disruption of service as mentioned in the post, Microsoft could generate more revenue outside its original equipment manufacturers pay.
The company wants its Windows 10 users to use Edge, and it’s also expecting to gain new revenue from the use of Bing, which is now tightly integrated with the latest Windows OS.
It’s not the first time that the company puts emphasis on its own properties in the current Windows OS. When you upgrade to Windows 10, for example, Edge is set to be the default, even if the users set another browser.
That means, when you ask the Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana, to find you the nearest spa, you should not expect the assistant to use other search engine or present results using other browsers.
These restrictions could remind you of the earlier moves of Microsoft that resulted in the US Department of Justice to file a lawsuit against Microsoft as it violated antitrust violates.
Currently, Google hasn’t made any comments yet about this matter. Mozilla, too, didn’t respond to this issue.
Some analysts are saying that it’s a mistake to limit the choices of users. The company is making huge liberties. They also criticized the complicated process of Windows 10 that users have to endure and change their default search engine.
Unfortunately, no matter how Microsoft pushes its users to use Bing as default search engine, it still can’t take the fact that Google is the dominating search engine. In fact, 90 percent of searches are made through Google. Bing has only accumulated 3 percent of searches.
But Microsoft promises that it will provide its users the best search results and more personalized search experience through Cortana search box and Edge.
Still, this move by Microsoft will force you to use Edge against your will. That’s all because the company decided to give you the best user experience.