Search On Microsoft Cortana Blocked To Google, Firefox

Microsoft closed the door on third-party searches through Cortana, its digital assistant, as part of an effort to keep people searching on Bing when using Windows 10.

The move comes in response to several recent workarounds that use browser extensions to make Google, rather than Bing, the default engine for Cortana searches.

Ryan Gave, GM of Microsoft Search and Cortana, in a blog post wrote that the decision to restrict searches improves the personalized experience on Edge and Bing. "Microsoft Edge will be the only browser that will launch when you search from the Cortana box," he wrote.

Those searching from a Windows 10 machine can still use their search engine and browser of choice by using the centralized default manager to choose a preferred default setting -- just not through voice search or typing in the Cortana search box.

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The move may become a more personalized experience for users, but it also gives Microsoft an opportunity to increase searches on Bing.

The free Windows 10 install could very well pay off for Microsoft in the form of searches on Bing. The latest data from comScore notes that Bing hit 32.8% market share for desktop searches in the U.S. in February 2016, although Google led with 64%.

Forbes contributor Gordon Kelly points out that Windows 10 Cost Microsoft about $1.5 billion to build, which the Redmond, Wash., company points out in its Fiscal Q3 2016 earnings results. And although Windows was free to download for millions, the software upgrades that run on the machine were not. Add to that the choice of which search engine and browser to use.

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