Windows 10 handcuffs Cortana web search to Bing and Edge browser

Next month: Wow, everyone's a massive fan of Bing and Edge! What a surprise!

The Cortana search box in the Windows 10 task bar will, from today, always use Bing and Microsoft's Edge browser to find stuff on the web.

You can still configure your default browser to be something other than Edge, and you can set the default search engine to be something other than Bing on your Windows 10 PC. But if you launch a query from the digital assistant's task bar box, you will always go through Bing and Edge.

Microsoft calls this an "integrated experience," and believes Bing is your best bet for looking up info on the internet using Cortana. Only Bing can understand Cortana. And, of course, Edge is best at rendering Bing on screen. So let's just hardwire Cortana to Bing and Edge. Happy now? Aren't we all having a fun time?

"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," said Ryan Gavin, Redmond's search general manager.

"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."

Once upon a time Microsoft was in a little spot of bother in the US and in Europe for force-feeding people Internet Explorer and tying its browser to Windows.

Today, Microsoft hopes to avoid landing in hot water by simply shackling Cortana web search to Bing and Edge, leaving the default browser and search engine options alone, and be able to boast about another uptick in Bing usage next quarter. ®

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