However, Microsoft has also made it clear, probably in light of the ongoing antitrust feud between the European Union and Google, that you can continue to use search engines and browsers of your choice in Windows 10 devices. Ryan Gavin, general manager of search and Cortana, said, "With Windows 10, we have invested in delivering comprehensive, end-to-end search capabilities that make Windows more personal, intuitive and helpful".
Microsoft says that this results in a compromised experience that's not as reliable as Cortana is created to be, and "less predictable". Gavin added that to deliver the personalized search experience, Microsoft integrated Cortana, Edge and Bing.
Despite the recent announcement, this doesn't mean that Google and other search engines will be totally taken off the grid.
Microsoft has announced it is to block third-party search engines from within Cortana, the firm's digital assistant that is built into Windows 10. However, a lot of people have objected to the "closed off" approach Microsoft seems to be taking with Windows 10 and it seems that the company isn't going to cut it out any time soon. "Still, it is bad news for anyone who had been using the new extensions, and an unusual direction for an operating system that has typically distinguished itself as more customizable than its competitors", observed Russell Brandom of The Verge.
Users though still have the option to choose the browser and search engine of their choice.
But the Cortana search box is now Bing-and-Edge-only territory.
It's especially interesting to see Microsoft make this move when it wasn't easy to force Cortana to use Google in the first place.
Microsoft defended its move by saying some software programs will circumvent the Windows 10 design and redirect users to search providers not created to be working with Cortana. Thankfully customers can still install other browsers on Windows 10, and set Google as the default search provider in Microsoft Edge. Microsoft itself attributes much of the revenue growth to the adoption of Windows 10.
I tried to test the features, but I'm a Firefox and Google search user, so all I got were plain vanilla search results in Bing. Of course, all major search engines collect basic anonymous information about their users for basic ranking, insights and analytics.