18 March 2019
Ever since the introduction of Cortana to Windows 10 for PCs, Microsoft has made various changes with the goal of delivering the best possible user experience. It has a made a new such change with the same goal which is basically about separating Cortana from the Windows 10 search bar in the taskbar. This change is currently under testing phase with Windows 10 Insider Preview build 18317 (19H1).
The announcement regarding the change has been made by Dona Sarkar, Windows Insider Chief, and Brandon LeBlanc, Senior Program Manager via an official blog post. The decision is said to have been taken so that the teams can work on both Cortana and search independently. This is expected to help them focus better and release features based on particular audiences and use cases.
It should be noted that this does not mean Cortana is going away. Microsoft is simply giving both Cortana and search their respective place in the taskbar. With this change, clicking on the search bar will only bring local search service. For using Cortana and its smartness, you will have to click on the Cortana ring icon next to the search bar.
In the official blog post, Sarkar said,
"Going forward, we’ll be decoupling Search and Cortana in the taskbar. This will enable each experience to innovate independently to best serve their target audiences and use cases. Some Insiders have had this update for a few weeks now, and we appreciate all the feedback we’ve received about it so far! For those new to this update, when it rolls out to you, you’ll find clicking the search box in the taskbar now launches our experience focused on giving you the best in house search experience and clicking the Cortana icon will launch you straight into our voice-first digital assistant experience."
This new change is currently limited to Windows 10 Insider builds. There is no doubt that it will be coming to the stable build as well but there are no words on when exactly that might happen.