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Microsoft Limits Cortana Search Box In Windows 10 To Bing and Edge Only (venturebeat.com) 361

An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Microsoft has announced a big change for how the Cortana search box in Windows 10 will work going forward: all searches will be powered by Bing and all links will open with the Edge browser. This is a server-side change going into effect today. Once it takes effect on your Windows 10 computer, Cortana will no longer be able to serve up results from third-party search providers, like Google or Yahoo, nor take you to a third-party browser, such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Ryan Gavin, Microsoft's general manager of search and Cortana, said in a Windows blog post announcing the change, "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. 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."
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Microsoft Limits Cortana Search Box In Windows 10 To Bing and Edge Only

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  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @07:05PM (#52009825) Journal

    Translation: You belong to us, bitches! Now bend over so we can serve you some search results!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Cortana, Microsoft Edge and Bing -- all designed to do more for you

      LOL LOL LOL LOL

      I disabled Cortana in the registry. And Edge is so dumbed-down it's useless.

      • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @07:16PM (#52009933) Journal

        Cortana, Microsoft Edge and Bing -- all designed to do more for you

        LOL LOL LOL LOL

        I disabled Cortana in the registry. And Edge is so dumbed-down it's useless

        We are the customers. We paid for the things that we use. We shouldn't have to be forced to go through all the 'disable the registry' hops in order to get our computer to work

        We, the consumers, have given too much 'face' to the tech companies, so much so that right now they, the service providers, get to tell us, their paymasters, what we must do, and not the other way around

        This is wrong, very wrong !

        It is the customers who should have the final say

        • Complain to whoever in the EU. They just successfully went after Google for similar with android. Well, you may want to double check that, EU regulators have been going after Google for several things and I may have that wrong.

          I don't care enough to check because I don't use it and likely won't for a long time.

          • Yes, at first sight, this story does look like an anti-competition lawsuit just waiting to happen.

            Or yet more desperation from Microsoft to lock customers into their ecosystem so they can figure out how to make more money from them later. Take your pick.

            • Re:Translation (Score:5, Interesting)

              by TheReaperD ( 937405 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @10:35PM (#52010767)

              Between the failure of Windows Mobile and now XBox winding down combined with falling PC sales, Microsoft has got to be feeling the heat from investors when asked, "where's the growth in 10 years." Right now their revenues are fine but, with no future money making divisions, they risk stagnation which investors see as death.

              • by mjwx ( 966435 )

                Between the failure of Windows Mobile and now XBox winding down combined with falling PC sales, Microsoft has got to be feeling the heat from investors when asked, "where's the growth in 10 years." Right now their revenues are fine but, with no future money making divisions, they risk stagnation which investors see as death.

                Microsoft's bread and butter has always been and still is the enterprise. As yet, all of their consumer rivals including Apple and Google have failed to penetrate one iota.

                OS, Server and Office licenses make up the bulk of the MS revenue and profit, here it doesn't matter how many PC's are sold because MS charge per license, not OEM for enterprise. Out of this they're bankrolling almost everything else and it's not really making a dent.

                Also, most PC makers have been seeing growth in the last two years with

        • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 28, 2016 @08:37PM (#52010315)

          We are the customers. We paid for the things that we use.

          How many times does this need to be mentioned. You are NOT Microsoft's customer, you are their product. They are in the business of selling your browsing habits (and any other personal information they can steal) to whomever will pay them for it.

        • by Alumoi ( 1321661 )

          We are the customers. We paid for the things that we use. We shouldn't have to be forced to go through all the 'disable the registry' hops in order to get our computer to work

          Please, do tell me again how much did you pay for Windows 10? Is it open source? No? Then you're the fucking product, not a cusotmer.

          We, the consumers, have given too much 'face' to the tech companies, so much so that right now they, the service providers, get to tell us, their paymasters, what we must do, and not the other way around

          Since the begining of the time, a service is usually provided on a 'take it or leave it' base. It's a forced contract meaning you have to agree to the service provider's terms. Of course, you're free to leave if they are changing the terms or you don't want it anymore.

          It is the customers who should have the final say

          And we do have the final say. We can stop using the service if we don't want. BTW, did you ditch Windows in fa

    • by sims 2 ( 994794 )

      How? Cortana refuses to speak to me without a Microsoft account.

    • Translation: You belong to us, bitches! Now bend over so we can serve you some search results!

      I wish I could say I'm surprised, but I'm not. We should have seen this coming.

      I wouldn't be surprised if stuff like Open Office and Libre Office will mysteriously refuse to run under Win 10.

    • Re:Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @08:06PM (#52010161)

      Dear Microsoft,

      Hi, are you stupid? Are you deliberately trying to make decisions that make you look as terrible as possible?

      I sort of understand the technical reasons for wanting to do this. It's a lot easier to provide consistent results if you control all the pieces to all the tech. But a "consistent experience" is not why people use Windows. If that's what people wanted, they'd already be using a Mac.

      Here's an alternative: Propose an open framework that permits intelligent agents to integrate with and work across search engines and other services, and create a useful, open source implementation that shows how Cortana integrates with Bing and Edge. Start creating some innovative software solutions instead of playing in your own little pond with your own toys, and you might actually find yourself relevant to a broader audience again.

      It looks like I was right to simply turn off Cortana and internet-enabled searching from that bar as the first thing I did after installing Windows 10. What makes you think this is going to entice me to ever turn it back on? Maybe arrange a little "accident" for my registry settings on the next update, I suppose?

      Sincerely,
      -A Windows User / Developer

      • Agreed, and this move is going to result in another anti-competitive lawsuit, did they not learn from bundling IE all those years ago?
    • Only for people dumb enough to use Cortana.

  • by Tatarize ( 682683 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @07:08PM (#52009843) Homepage

    Seriously, stop trying. Accidentally Binging something is terrible, but even with the results right there in front of me... I still closed it down, went to google and typed the same search over again.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That makes two of us then! You know why? Because, let's face it, Bing sucks. Because the one job it has it can't do. Give me quality results on the SERP page. Bing results suck. Period. Until they fix that fatal flaw, people will run, not walk away from it. Of course, why fix your product when you can just shove it down your customers' throats? Monopolistic megacorp motherfuckers.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Everyone remember where exactly Google came from, cooked search results where the first bunch of 'PAGES' of results were all paid for and often had absolutely nothing with what you were looking for. So type in a search, results come up and immediately click on page 3 of the results and somewhere between page 3 and page 7 of the results would be what you were actually looking for and MSN search was just as bad as asta la vista (altavista). Welcome to the same old bullshit and the bullshit to try to cover up

    • Wow, that's got to be the most irrational position on a search engine I've ever heard. Blind devotion to one particular engine is foolish enough, but intentionally wasting your *own* time instead of using the results in front of you? That's just stupid.

      I use Bing. I use Google. I use DuckDuckGo. I use at least two of them on almost any given day. Many days I use all three. Absent situations where I know the results will be off because I used (or failed to use) site-specific syntax in my search, I don't care much which one I'm using. DDG for sensitive-ish stuff (default on my work machine) but it's annoying otherwise because opening its links is slow. I use Bing and Google pretty much interchangeably beyond that. Some searches produce better results in the one, some in the other. It doesn't make a difference.

      Hell, I'd probably even use Yahoo if I had any reason to. I replaced Firefox with Pale Moon, though, and seem to therefore not have any browsers configured for Yahoo (and I'm not going to bother changing that).

      • An extra 6 seconds or so is time well spent given that it would take me longer than that to fish through the feces that are Bing's search results. I'm gaining time. It's efficiency rather than irrationalism. Getting a false lead can suck down a solid minute. I am at a loss as to how anybody could think those 6 seconds are poorly spent.

    • by rwven ( 663186 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @08:46PM (#52010369)

      Did MS learn nothing from their antitrust rulings in the early 00s?

      And yes, bing is a terrible abhorrent creation. MS should be ashamed.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It sure seems like this is anticompetitive and probably should land Microsoft in some hot water with the DOJ.

    • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
      No different that Siri or Google Now... You can still open a browser and search for anything using any search engine.

      I suggest https://www.webcrawler.com/ [webcrawler.com] or Altavista or even gopher://gopher.floodgap.com/1... [floodgap.com]

      • In Siri's case, I can say, "Hey Siri, Google kumquats." It will launch Safari and give me back info on kumquats. If I say, "Hey Siri, Bing kumquats," it will return the results inside Siri. If I say, "Hey Siri, DuckDuckGo kumquats," it will return the results of a Bing search for "DuckDuckGo kumquats."

        So, yeah, Siri is kind of tied to Bing.

        • Ha! That's a pretty funny set of results. Would installing a DDG app help with that last case, perhaps?

    • limp dick DOJ wont do anything, EU EC on the other hand fined Microsoft cool >$2B since 2004, and is eager to do it again because of windows 10.

  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @07:11PM (#52009885)

    First thing I do when installing windows 10 is to disable cortana, and limit search to the local computer only.

    I don't need or want desktop search to go out on the internet; that's what the search in my browser is for.

    The is emblematic of the entire issue with cortana on the desktop. There needs to be desktop search. When I want to search my computer for a file that starts with 'kid' i just want results from my computer. I don't care about Nicole Kidman's latest movie, i don't care about 'kid friendly meals'.

    I get that microsoft wants to be able to get you to search from the desktop with Cortana... and that's fine I guess for people who want that. But I still need desktop search, and right now, cortana and web results gets in the way of that. If it was a separate UI, I migth leave it on and use.. but its not. So I disable cortana and I disable including web results.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      How long before they stop allowing us to turn off cortana and web search results? And lets be honest, Cortana never actually goes away even when disabled its still running.
      • by vux984 ( 928602 )

        Its hard to imagine windows 10 getting any traction in the business world if you couldn't turn this consumer nonsense off.

        If I'm running a call center, or retail outlet, the PCs are all but kiosks.

        If I'm running a law firm or medical practice, there's no way the same user interface i might use to locate client/patient files is going to be sending them out as bing queries at the same time. Or even there as an option.

        Cortana never actually goes away even when disabled its still running.

        The explanation for this is pretty simple and somewhat reasonable. Cortana is essentially als

        • Its hard to imagine windows 10 getting any traction in the business world if you couldn't turn this consumer nonsense off.

          Microsoft doesn't want Windows 10 "getting any traction in the business world". It wants the more expensive Windows 10 Enterprise "getting any traction in the business world".

      • Guess what Windows Insiders just discovered you can't do in Windows 10 rs1_release 14332?

        • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

          Please elaborate!

          Not sure what you refer to, is it the software package "RS/1" or???

          • by Col. Bloodnok ( 825749 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @08:18AM (#52012277)

            Redstone or rs1 is the codename for the next rolling release of Windows 10.

            Build 14332 was pushed out to the fast ring of the Windows Insider program 3 days ago.

            It removes the ability to disable Cortana (you can still hobble the bastard by removing permissions) and removes the ability to turn off web search. Currently it performs web search with the users default web browser and search engine, but that is obviously going to change.

            They also made the Start menu even worse.

    • I don't need or want desktop search to go out on the internet; that's what the search in my browser is for.

      Wait a sec. Doesn't Apple have a patent on searching the local computer + the Internet at the same time? (Not saying such a thing should be worthy of a patent. I just distinctly recall the feature being pulled from Android when Apple started waving the patent bat around.)

    • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @10:24PM (#52010747)

      Microsoft's strategy now is to copy everyone else in vains hopes to make something work. Cortana is a crude mixture of Siri and the much hated Google search bar what would install itself on your browser when you weren't looking. Why? Monetization. The only thing they care about their users anymore is monetization.

      The Metro style apps, a vain attempt to strike it rich in the apps store market (like very other wannabe developer on the planet who thinks apps will help with early retirement). A microsoft ID, a vain attempt to spy on what their customers are doing and buying. Customers start to move towards phones and tablets and Microsoft stupidly decides to switch everything to a touch screen oriented device and fails badly; fires the VP in charge of that and replaces him with the moron that gave us Windows 10. In desparation they decide to surreptitiously install Windows 10 on computers when no one is looking.

    • by jdavidb ( 449077 )
      Me, too, and if I want to search my Windows box, I use find or other command-line tools under Cygwin. Have for over ten years.
    • First thing I do when installing windows 10 is to disable cortana,

      Same here. this should be a non-story for most people, and for the rest it will be the end of Cortana and Edge.
      Google and Firefox will be loving this move.

  • Here we go (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @07:12PM (#52009895)

    "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. 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."

    Unfortunately, as we have continued to sneak Windows 10 onto unsuspecting users systems, we have seen some software designed to disrupt the malware like experience of Windows 10 and redirect you to search providers that were not designed to collect all of your information and send it to Microsoft. The result is a compromised user database that is not worth as much as an ad platform as we had hoped. The completeness of our database is crucial to us, and is disrupted if CompTelRunner, Cortana, and other subsystems cannot use the MS backend for data collection. The only way we can plan on how to pillage further and make our database more valuable to other entities (NSA) is through the integration of Cortana, Edge, and Bing. -- All designed to capture more for us."

    FTFY

    Disclosure, sent from a Win 10 box. Hypocritical I know.

  • money money money (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sigvatr ( 1207234 )
    $$$$$$$$$$ money money money
  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @07:40PM (#52010061)
    It would be slightly less annoying.
  • Bend Over Google (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dcollins ( 135727 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @07:46PM (#52010091) Homepage

    Remember, this is not yet one week since Microsoft & Google announced a "no complaint" to regulators pact:

    https://tech.slashdot.org/story/16/04/22/1421201/microsoft-google-agree-to-stop-complaining-to-regulators-about-each-other [slashdot.org]

    In classic Microsoft fashion, they forge an agreement with someone and then screw them over in the most mean-spirited, legalistic way possible. Google should have known better on this one.

  • Meh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Thursday April 28, 2016 @07:48PM (#52010103) Journal

    This would annoy me if I had any reason to run Windows. Thankfully, that's not the case.

    -jcr

  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @07:53PM (#52010115)

    I had to use Edge at work for a couple of months and it would frequently crash while trying to render Slashdot. Maybe as much as 50% of the time it would freeze or pop up a message saying that "Edge has stopped" and then it would try and restart.

  • by FictionPimp ( 712802 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @07:55PM (#52010123) Homepage

    The first thing I do in windows 10 is hide every visible thing about Cortona I can. I'm sure my co-workers would just love hearing me repeat myself to my computer over and over as it attempts to find anything useful on bing.

  • "In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society,Â..."
  • Serious question... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GrahamCox ( 741991 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @08:29PM (#52010259) Homepage
    I'm a new and somewhat reluctant user of Windows 10. I only use it as a platform to launch certain games, via Steam. All of its other features (other than what it provides as APIs to games) I don't need. I especially don't need any of this Cortana crap, auto-updates, or other typical PC-type features. I have a Mac for all that stuff.

    So what I'd like to ask is how do I disable everything I don't need? Can someone point me to a "minimum Windows 10 for dummies" kind of thing? I've been through all the interface that I can see, but I suspect I'm only scratching the Surfaceâ, because it still acts somewhat intrusively, even interrupting a Dirt Rally session mid-stage the other day to tell me it needed to restart to install an update (and DR's design meant the stage was voided). I despise that behaviour - it must be possible to set things up such that I'm in charge of it, and not the other way around? Any tips or help appreciated!
  • I never thought Microsoft corporation would do this.

    Just like I'm positive they will never ever require Intel hardware to force UEFI Secure Boot to qualify for Windows stickers.

  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @08:50PM (#52010405) Homepage

    Could it be that the settlement against Microsoft established in 2002 [wikipedia.org] which, amongst other things, required them to open their browser to competition, was preventing them from eliminating competing search engines? The only reason Microsoft permitted other browsers, and by extension, search engines in the browser, was because of this case. I suspect that they just forgot that they can now be evil again.

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Thursday April 28, 2016 @08:58PM (#52010439) Homepage Journal

    Cortana.

    Where do you want to go today?

    Well you CAN'T! FUCK YOU!

    Instead of turning the Cortana interface into a useful tool, they've basically hamstrung it.

  • Finally, a use for that authentication stuffup that left most Office365 accounts wide open.
  • by Somebody Is Using My ( 985418 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @12:39AM (#52011127) Homepage

    "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"

    The Microsoft stooge went on to say:

    "Of course, we /could/ have created a framework that incorporated the ability to use different search providers, since this is obviously something in which some customers are interested. But instead, we have decided to further limit customer choice, breaking third-party applications, so we can bolster the diminishing market-share of the financial black-hole that is Bing, while pretending it's all in the name of "improving" the customer experience. And then we'll look around all confused as people stop buying our products because we've stopped providing them something that works for /them/ in lieu of offering something that works for /us/."

  • by short ( 66530 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @02:00AM (#52011303) Homepage
    Similar to Android maps. When any application wants to display a map it only displays Google Maps. Despite I have several other better (=offline) maps installed. And no, I have downloaded the areas into Google Maps offline maps and it still does not display anything offline. Plus other maps (like mapy.cz or MapsWithMe) render the maps better anyway.
  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @09:46AM (#52012809)

    If now is not the time, it will never be. Windows 10 is essentially only good for gaming. For every other task, a Chromebook or a MacBook, depending on your budget and preferences, does the job better while being less annoying. Yes, they also have frequent software updates, limitations and analytics. But they are not obnoxious in normal daily use. Every time I want to use my gaming box, it has logged me out and I have to sit through 10 minutes of "working on updates" until I can start Portal.

    Video card and game manufacturers should partner with distributors like Steam and commit to same day Linux releases for titles and drivers. Invest in Vulcan and whatever is the most promising replacement for X11 until performance/stability is as good as DirectX. Then there will be no more reasons for people to get abused by their computers.

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