Screenshots show Microsoft might remove Cortana search box

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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The Cortana virtual assistant app is an integral part of Windows 10. That is largely because it includes the primary Windows 10 search tool with which users can find files, software and OS utilities.

Most users utilize Cortana for searches more than anything else, but a Microsoft watcher has now shown off screenshots that highlight the software giant intends to remove the search box from Cortana. Thus, Cortana’s search box might be a separate utility in the 19H1 Win 10 version.

The Microsoft watcher Albatross leaked the new Cortana screenshots on his Twitter page. One of the screenshots includes a Cortana app without a search box at the bottom.

On the Twitter page, Albatross states:

In 19H1, Microsoft is planning to separate Windows Search from Cortana.” 19H1 is the codename for the next big Windows 10 update that Microsoft will roll out in spring 2019. He also stated, “Cortana will eventually be able to move from the usual flyout into something called the Conversation Canvas, providing a more assistant-like experience with little to no content obstruction.

In addition to the Cortana snapshot, Albatross shows us a screenshot of the search box utility in its own separate window or console. The search box has its own button beside the Start menu to open the utility with.

The utility’s search filters for apps, settings, web and documents are at the top of the window. So it looks much the same as  the current Cortana search utility, albeit within a separate window.

Another screenshot on Albatross’ Twitter page includes the taskbar context menu. That menu includes a Search submenu which users can configure the utility’s taskbar display. It is much the same as the current Cortana submenu from which you can select to show either an icon or search box on the taskbar.

Aside from removing the search box from Cortana, the 19H1 update will also add a new search index option to Settings. The new Enhanced option under Find My Files in preview builds expands Windows Search to include all folders and drives instead of just libraries. So that option is more like an enhanced search indexer mode for Windows 10.

Removing the search box from Cortana will certainly be a big change for the virtual assistant app. Cortana will be a somewhat less essential app without the search box. Microsoft has not officially confirmed that there will be a separate search box for the 19H1 update. Nevertheless, the new search box will probably be included in the next Windows 10 preview builds.


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