Microsoft is changing how search queries entered into the Cortana search box in Windows 10 are carried out. From now own—and for your own good, from Microsoft's angle—searches made with Cortana searches will only be carried out with Edge and Bing, even if you've configured a third-party browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to be the default.
You're still free to use third-party browsers in Windows 10 all you want, otherwise Microsoft would be looking antitrust lawsuits. However, Microsoft wants its digital assistant to stay loyal to Edge and Bing to avoid delivering a "compromised experience" to users. That's the explanation Microsoft is giving on the surface, anyway.
"Unfortunately, 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. The result is a compromised experience that is less reliable and predictable," Microsoft stated in a blog post. "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."
That isn't a fabrication on Microsoft's part. Cortana is powered by Bing and there are certain features that only work with Edge. The biggest is end-to-end-search with Windows 10 anticipating your needs. Microsoft provided several examples of how you might use Cortana in Windows 10 with Edge:
- Search for “Pizza Hut” in the Cortana box and, once you’re on the Pizza Hut website in Microsoft Edge, Cortana can show you your closest locations.
- Search for “Bluetooth not working” in the Cortana box and Bing gives you a rich video help answer only available on Windows 10 as a Bing search result.
- Shopping for a new black dress in Microsoft Edge, do an image search in Bing and then right click a dress to Ask Cortana to get you more information on it.
- Search for “Best Buy” in the Cortana box, click through on the top web result to bestbuy.com, and Cortana will offer up coupons to save you money. The list goes on and on
Be that as it may, some will inevitably accuse Microsoft of simply trying to increase Edge's market share in the browser arena.