Why splitting up Cortana and search in Windows 10 makes sense

Many months ago, I wrote an article detailing Microsoft's plans to split up Cortana and Search in Windows 10, and preliminary work for the split is now starting to show up in the latest Insider Preview builds. While nothing is guaranteed to ship, it's time to revisit these plans and talk a little about the reason behind splitting up Cortana and Search in the first place.

Why Microsoft is splitting up Cortana and search is rather simple: it allows Microsoft to develop both experiences without affecting one another. Many will remember when Windows 10 first launched, the Cortana and search experience was dominated by Cortana. It was a Cortana centric feature, with search integrated into it. Users hated this, and just wanted search to be ... well, search. So, over the last several Windows 10 feature updates, Microsoft has worked to de-emphasize Cortana in Windows Search, opting to prioritize the search experience instead.

Now, of course, this means Cortana's experience has degraded over time on Windows 10. It's pretty much not there anymore as Microsoft has catered to ensuring the experience is more search orientated than assistant orientated. There are no more upcoming events, latest news, or day at a glance view on the homepage. Cortana's experience is now limited to ensuring it doesn't get in the way of the Windows Search experience. There's no room for Cortana to breathe, which is why Cortana's integration on Windows 10 sucks in the latest Windows 10 updates.

Splitting up search and Cortana gives Microsoft free reign over building out both experiences without one getting in the way of the other. Microsoft can build out a dedicated assistant experience for Cortana without degrading the Windows search experience, and the search can improve without degrading any assistant-based experiences. It's a win-win for everyone, especially those that have been hoping for an enhanced Cortana experience on Windows 10.

On that subject, Microsoft is planning to introduce a new chat-UI for Cortana on Windows 10 that behaves similarly to the new Cortana app on Android and iOS or the Google Assistant, as has been revealed in the past. Speech bubbles deliver your speech or text-based commands to Cortana, and Cortana responds with speech bubbles of its own. While this experience is designed to prioritize typing over talking, users will still be able to speak to Cortana with their voice if they wish.

Even with Cortana and search split up, both features will still be able to talk to each other. You will still be able to search for documents through the Cortana experience, and you'll still be able to access basic Cortana commands through search including "weather" and pick up where you left off. Microsoft is also planning to integrate Cortana throughout the OS rather than expect the user to head to the dedicated Cortana entry point for assistant-like tasks.

Where Microsoft is planning to move Cortana is still up in the air. As I wrote about in the past, early plans looked into building out the new conversation UI for Cortana into the Action Center or System Tray, which in my opinion makes the most sense. But, as with anything that's in development, those plans could change. There's no ETA for the Cortana and Search split to happen, and it may never even ship, as a lot of the work Microsoft is doing around these plans right now are experimental.

If one thing is for sure, it's that Microsoft is thinking about this stuff, and does want to improve the Cortana and Search experiences on Windows 10. To do that, it must split them up so that one experience doesn't influence the other.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • To me, separating them is actually more confusing. I wish we just had 1 assistant that does everything. If I'm looking for something, how do I know if I need to search in Cortana or Windows Search? It's so frustrating.
  • Assistant and search is separate on literally every other platform. Nobody finds it confusing there. Nobody will find it confusing here. Splitting them up is a good thing.
  • But … many of us aren't on other platforms. We have windows phone, windows PCs, Windows Laptops and Windows Tablets. We've gotten used to having a single search, and we like the fact that Cortana can show us local files, apps, and related web searches all in one place and in the correct context. Splitting them up feels like a step backwards.
  • It is not a step backwards. Splitting them up allows for search and Cortana to grow in their own ways. Cortana will get better when separated from search. It's as simple as that. Those who think Cortana and Search are better together and in the minority/don't understand what we're actually talking about. Honestly, I'm surprised you think splitting these two features up is a bad thing. It's nothing but good news. Cortana will get better, and search will get better. If you keep things the way they are, Cortana will continue to suffer with no new features and experiences because Search is more important. Cortana has a terrible assistant experience when combined with search because Search is prioritized. If you like things such as package tracking, latest news, weather alerts from Cortana, you should be rallying for the split, because that's where those kind of assistant-like features can return. Those features are not welcome when Cortana is paired with Search. And, as mentioned in the article, you'll still be able to use each feature to search/access cortana. You can search for weather, and you can ask Cortana to search for documents, just like you've always been able to. It's just that Microsoft is splitting the entry points for both so that each feature gets its own dedicated experiences that are catered to what those features actually are, instead of having them both together and making Cortana's experience basically non-existent so that those who just want to search aren't annoyed by Cortana's presence.
  • They just simply need to ditch Cortana, as much as I hate to say it. They have already severely deprecated her anyways, what is the point from here on out?
  • The problem with this is not the split up. It’s the slowdown and demantling of cortana specific feature. Microsoft has taken many misteps with Cortana, placing in an unfortunate place long eay behind other assistants. On top of that, they are placing emphasis on their competitor’s product, undermining Cortana even more. All this put the end users and potential customers in limbo. People have great fears into investing in Cortana and are moving to competitors in droves. If MS so not understand the need to maintain a stable user base, they will never succeed, they will always be second or third. Second place is not subtainanle in the current market.
  • hi I agree with zac Cortana is pretty much bad in win 10 it's even worse on win 10 mobile no update since the first wave the mobile app doesn't even show live tile it is used to be in win8 mobile the new Ui on cross platform is pretty much nice on pc like the iOS and android app it's very good and welcoming hope we can get the same design on pc as iOS and android may be on mobile too for mobile it's really a miracle if that happens
  • "instead of having them both together and making Cortana's experience basically non-existent so that those who just want to search aren't annoyed by Cortana's presence" I HATE HATE HATE Cortana for that very reason. I have no desire to do ANYTHING with Cortana (or any AI on my phone or desktop) and have spent a lot of time and energy disabling Cortana and web search over the years. Local search is the only valuable thing. If i want web search I will use a WEB BROWSER like FireFox or FireFox Focus with DuckDuckGo! Luckily I run Windows 10 Pro so I actually could use Group Policy to disable and hide all aspects of Cortana and disable web search. It's been a frustrating cat-and-mouse game with Microsoft since Microsoft did everything in its power to force users to use Cortana or web search as part of Windows search. Recently things got much, much better on the search front. Cortana has all but disappear, and, while the unhacked Windows search experience is still quite bad it's not as miserable as when Cortana was in the mix. All I can say is that it's satisfying to be proved right. For that matter, I get the strange feeling that Microsoft has been listening to every single one of my rants here on WindowsCentral over the years. * Edge is being put out of its misery
    * UWP and the Windows Store seem to be on the cusp of being chopped. I've stopped using Windows Store for all apps because the ones that I tried from the Store like VLC Player and IrfanView were much worse than their real (i.e. desktop) versions
    * Cortana is being removed from Windows search (the best news of the day)
    * Windows 10 S with it's horrible "you can use any web browser with any default search engine you want as long as it's Edge with Bing" is now dead
    * Windows 10 UWP touch sucks and needs to take a back seat to real Windows 10 applications I guess I come with a different perspective from your typical Microsoft fan or fanboi. I've been a power user on more operating systems than most people have owned computers (three decades on Mac, two decades on Windows, nearly two decades on Linux, a few years on Android and now AOSP). I get what makes an operating system good and sometimes I can immediately see that something is a bad idea and I'm usually right. Windows 10 S. Edge. Cortana as part of Windows search. I immediately saw them all for the bad, bad ideas they were. Sadly it's taken Microsoft three years or more to figure out what I knew in 2015. PS I still think UWP is a good idea, but, Microsoft needs to tone down the touch and refocus on the traditional desktop..
  • Separation creates more options than not, . Everything else is equally subjective, though I agree in part.
  • "Cortana's integration on Windows 10 sucks in the latest Windows 10 updates." It's satisfying to be able to say "I told you so". Microsoft is doing exactly what I've spent so much energy these last three years doing on my Windows 10 Pro computers. I disable Cortana completely so I never ever have to see it and prevent Windows search from returning web results. With those two features disabled Windows search is still only half as good as Apple's Spotlight but that's still 1000 times better than Windows search with Cortana and web results. Mac users have had Spotlight since 2005 and in 2005 it was already better than Windows 10 search in 2018! It boggles the mind that it's 2018 and that Microsoft hasn't been able to replicate that functionality on Windows 10. Hopefully splitting Windows search from Cortana will finally bring something as good Spotlight to Windows but I'm not hopeful. Microsoft has a really bad track record when it comes to respecting privacy (just like Google) and in making decisions that are in Microsoft's best interest and not in the users' best interests.
  • Not to be a pessimist...but Microsoft does have a bad history of forking things off right before killing them. (Windows 10 and W10M, anyone?) Remember how forking those builds was supposed to be a good thing? I have a love affair with Cortana, and wish only the best for her. But you'll have to forgive me, Zac if I seem less than thrilled that they are doing this.
  • Microsoft lied about forking those builds. What actually happened is MS just left W10M behind. It didn't put any extra work into Mobile before it killed it off. Microsoft is putting vast resources into Cortana right now to ensure this split happens. So, pretty bad take to say this is all in the name of killing Cortana.
  • I sincerely hope that you are right. It's great that they want to funnel funding into her AI development and using that to drive background processes. But Cortana is (I'm saying it loud and proud) the best PA I've used.
    Google Assistant is so clinical and void of personality,
    Alexa is all function and no brains,
    And Siri is like hiring a PA based on her looks. Alexa is like my butler, but Cortana is my personal assistant. Losing that aspect of her would be a darn shame. Plus she's damn smart. I ask Alexa crap all the time and get nothing. Then I turn around and ask Cortie (yes I have a nickname for her, don't @ me!) and she gets me the answer almost every time.
  • Fully agree and well said!!
  • All of those players are ahead of Cortana, and Cortana doesn't any any more personality than Google Assistant, Brains than Alexa, or Looks compared to Siri. Cortana is basically competing against the Bixbies of the world, and frankly... even Bixby is winning that fight at this point. The big issue with Cortana is that she's basically tied to Desktop Windows, because I don't see any advantage whatsoever to using her on iOS over Siri or Android over Google, Bixby, or Alexa. This is compounded by the fact that people who choose non-Microsoft platforms tend to bias to non-Microsoft services. For the average consumer, Google Docs and iWork is more than enough (and "truly" free) on Mobile. iCloud Drive and Google Docs have comparable prices to OneDrive. Both of those ecosystems have their own PIM and Communications services, Digital Assistants, Web Browsers, Media Services (Google Play, iTunes), Google and Apple Photos, etc. The entire Microsoft ecosystem is redundant bloatware when you get off of a Windows PC, and it's not like the service integration is all that slick on Windows 10 itself... so why even bother keeping a Microsoft Account open unless you need Office or Visual Studio? Microsoft has an ecosystem problem - particularly in the consumer market. They are good in business and enterprise, because they have fairly de facto services/applications that dominate their respective markets.
  • I appreciate your opinion on Cortana and respectfully disagree. On to your other and totally unrelated Microsoft comments; What you see as a weakness, I see as a strength. The strength of Microsoft's ecosystem is one that is unique over all the others you've mentioned. It is available everywhere.
    Can I use Siri on Windows? No.
    Can I use Bixby on Apple? No. I'm not an average consumer. Why would I bind myself to the limitations the average consumer allows corporations to hold over them? I can use my "bloatware" on whatever platform I choose. I'm not dependent on specific hardware for my ecosystem. I'm not limited to a specific subset of devices to continue my productivity. Only Microsoft allows that.
  • I agree with you kingtigre. Even though Microsoft killed Windows Mobile I can see they are trying to expand their products or services (Office, Cortana etc.) to the leading mobile platforms (Android & iOS) which is the best way to providing similar experience of PC to smartphone.
    Taking the 'Timeline' feature for example on PC which is also in beta mode on (Microsoft Launcher) Android is a good way of not leaving out Android users who wants to have similar feel of such feature on their Android devices.
    I suggest this is the best time for Microsoft to bring back Windows Mobile to build a bigger and better ecosystem for its services.
  • "I have a love affair with Cortana, and wish only the best for her. But you'll have to forgive me, Zac if I seem less than thrilled that they are doing this." I hate to break it to you but Cortana is dead. It doesn't make sense to have a "personal assistant" on the desktop. Apple is right to put the focus on privacy and on attention control. A personal assistant the way that Google and Microsoft envision it is designed to violate every single aspect of your most intimate privacy while getting you to engage with their services or ads as much as possible. I'm not as familiar with Apple's Siri (since I don't own a Mac or an iPhone anymore) but everything that I've seen is that Siri is MUCH more respectful of a users' privacy than Cortana or Google Assistant. Unless Microsoft suddenly discovers the privacy religion I don't think Cortana is long for this world as a personal assistant. Its technology may find its way into cloud services but that's a different kettle of fish. Apple is on the cusp of a huge power play, and, I think they may be on the winning side in the looming struggle. They control about a quarter of the globe's eyeballs in terms of internet access and they likely control over HALF of the globe's most profitable eyeballs through iOS. Apple has spent years building up good credibility in the realm of privacy and security and they're now in a position where they have credibility that Google and Facebook lack. Microsoft is no better than Google, but, because it's a minor player in the world of the internet its exploits haven't really garnered the kind of attention that the biggest players have. If Apple blocks FaceBook and Google tracking through iOS in the name of privacy they suddenly make it much harder for FaceBook and Google to target users with their omnipresent tracking and advertising. Microsoft will remain a bit player in that world unless they can beat Apple to the punch and convince their users that they're actually concerned about privacy and tracking. I recently read the T.O.S. of an innocuous battery tracker (Kaspersky) on Android. I was astounded by just how much data collection that simple app did (it got deleted). It makes me wonder how much tracking Google does through Android THAT I CAN'T TURN OFF.
  • They were separated from start. Then MS combined them - wrong move! Now they are being separated again. MS is very efficient!
  • Cortana and search were not separate from the start.
  • Of course they were. Windows search has been around for 30 years, they only tried to glom Cortana onto it when they created Windows 10. It never really made any sense to combine them.
  • Sorry, I meant they were never separate on Windows 10 before.
  • I miss having a central feed for my news sources/sports/weather. If the can recreate that instead of telling me go elsewhere, I'd be kosher dill
  • Same here. I loved having my daily update right inside of the cortana window to start my day. Unfortunately I may have to agree with others, I think that may be the beginning of the end of Cortana. Such a shame, had the potential to be the most powerful assistant of them all. Such as life I guess.
  • Sadly, the idiots at Microsoft killed of the Cortana app/tile in Windows 10. I'm so flipping angry about this.
  • Running the latest release version of Win10. I have a Cortana tile. The tile is ostensibly live, but I don't recall much happening on it.
  • For something that never truely worked outside the US i would say that was a smart thing to do, as Microsoft is a player on the global market and not a US only company.
  • I liked that I could open one screen and have all of my fedex packages displayed along with the news, weather and my diary entires. Now I need to go to three separate places. Integration should be the way forward. Separation is a big step backwards.
  • You misunderstand. All the things you just said will be accessible via one location if Cortana and Search split. News, weather, upcoming events will all be part of Cortana in its own area. Cortana doesn't have any of this right now because it's tied to Search, which doesn't have room for any of that. It used to have all that within search, but lots of feedback from users told Microsoft that people didn't want Cortana's features cluttering up search, so they removed it. Splitting Cortana and Search up allows Microsoft to bring back those specific Cortana features in their own dedicated area.
  • Gotta agree with the masses. I preferred where they were going as a combined assistant (that can search) rather than adding confusion of splitting these things up. At least I can still get my Cortana feed on my W10M.
  • And that's a HUGE reason why we are still using our Windows phones. The Live Tile environment is vastly superior and the Cortana experience is unmatched.
  • So you're happy with the current implementation of Cortana on Windows 10 PC? Splitting it from search ensures that Cortana will have a much better experience. The current Cortana experience is very bad.
  • I was fine with it as it was because it was a central focal point for my PC. I think the issues they are trying to address are because of a poor interface which has evolved but still lacking in execution. Like skills for example, should be found in the MS Store, not a webpage. I should be able to execute the same commands when I type them as I do with my voice. I don't think typing "Turn on Office Lights" is any different than saying it. I use Cortana less on my PC now since they have separated the daily view, it's become more of a background novelty when my Invoke is busy playing music and I need to do something with a smart home device.
  • You will be able to type the same commands in the dedicated Cortana experience.
  • That would be welcome when it happens. I can see that being handy for speech impaired people as well instead of being constrained to trying to control devices with voice. I'm not pitching a fit over the split, just like I said I use Cortana drastically less now on my PC. It's easier to just pop it open on my Elite to see the news headlines that are interesting to me and recent sports scores instead of opening the News app, then opening the Sports app, then opening the Weather App, then opening the Stock app.
  • That or people will opt to not use Cortana at all once it's removed from search.
  • People who don't want to use Cortana are already doing so even with Cortana being part of search. As said multiple times now, moving Cortana out of search is good for everyone. It means those who do use Cortana get a much better, dedicated experience, and those who don't can continue on like normal.
  • The real driver for this is probably enterprise. Companies already complain that their workers spend too much time distracted on the internet, and not enough time working. Hence many IT engineers are tasked with disabling Cortana’s internet-y duties. But right now it’s so intertwined with search that they can’t. Hence it is viewed as an obstacle in Windows 10 adoption in the enterprise. For that reason it’s probably best to separate the two. I say that with sadness because I prefer the unified experience personally. But I get the desire for companies to keep their workers less distracted. The last thing a worker needs is interesting news, weather, and sports feeds and hot sales popping up every time they search for a file.
  • Maybe they can give us back some of Cortana's Feed functionality when they spin her off.
  • And fedex package tracking. I now have to use a package tracking website to track everything, which isn't integrated into my PC or phone and is a pain.
  • I use Packages Tracker which is in the Store. No it's not automatically added, but once you add on one device, it syncs to the other Windows 10/Mobile devices. Shipping statuses in Action Center, all good enough for me. Loved how Cortana used to automatically track packages. Then Outlook was tasked for it, and haven't reliably seen anything since. So now, I just copy and paste into the Packages Tracker app and enjoy.
  • I rely heavily on the hands-free voice control of Cortana. I hate more reliance on typing to use Cortana. As long as whatever they do enhances the hands-free capability, I'm good with that.
  • You know they are doing this in preparation for killing Cortana next year. If it was a good experience and people were using Cortana, this wouldn't be happening. Microsoft obviously isn't serious about their assistant. We would have $20 speakers and a big marketing push if they were. With no users, Cortana does not have much of a future left.
  • I sure thought they would have came out with little Cortana pucks by now. Reminds me of how at one point, I thought Microsoft would build the hardware themselves if partner OEMs didn't. But they put her in expensive headphones that the majority are not going to buy. I'll pick them up, but I also switch back and forth between my Elite X3 and Note 8. Whatever happened to building the hardware to showcase what you have to inspire others to do the same? Would have been great if they would have launched cheaper Cortana speakers along with the Invoke. Or maybe even far-field microphones in the Xbox Ones to use Cortana. Or...… let me just stop there...
  • But didn't MS just buy a conversational AI company? I think that means Cortana as a conversational voice assistant is far from dead. Either way, voice assistants are pretty dumb overall. I do wish consumer AI were more than tracking my packages and telling me the weather and turning off the lights. That stuff is pretty trivial. I think all voice assistants have a lot of room to grow, and that means MS has an opportunity to take the lead.
  • I actually see Cortana being more and more proactive in following up on business processes through email chains that most people use in business operations. If Cortana develops the smarts to recognize business realtionships within my operations, then Cortana can be much more proactive and productive. Now she is recognizing discrete action items with an email and increasingly within email chains. But what if a discrete email iindicates an important business process and I dont quickly respond with the appropriate response? Maybe she would say "hey? this contract is expiring and you have a proposal from person X, should you follow up?"
  • Well if it goes as we saw with windows phone then we all know what that means....
  • MSFT once was a leader in smartphones and dropped the ball for about 3 years until they recognized how the app store on Apple was dominating app developoment. They never could catch up. However, with Cortana, MSFT was a leader and has continued to move Cortana forward. I doubt Alexa, siri and google have any better platform or business model to beat MSFT in its chosen business market (ie the enterprise). Alexa maybe the consumer sibling of Cortana if Amazon and MSFT stay focused on their perspective markets.
  • Cortana came out years after Siri and Google Now/Assistant. When was it ever a leader? Cortana has always been the classicly late "me-too" Microsoft product.
  • Cortana has never truly worked well outside the US market with severe limitations to its functionality if you ever used a Windows in any other language but US English. With Microsofts lack of push to give the rest of the global market even the same functionality as the US version when exactly has it ever been on par with the other assistants?
  • The two other responses summarise it nicely. Cortana only works well in the US. The fact that Microsoft has yet to expand outside of the US speaks volumes to how weak it is. Also, what Google and Amazon are doing with their cheap Echo and Dot devices is brilliant. People are scooping them up because they're so cheap. It's also a great way for Amazon and Google to have millions upon millions of beta testers who willingly signed up. I've got both a Dot and a two Echos. They're pretty bad, but, they're great for music, radio, weather, timers, simple search queries, reminders and even the odd phone call. What Google and Amazon can learn from having all these devices in the field is what people want to accomplish with them by looking at the queries that the AI couldn't successfully fulfill. Beta testers for free.
  • Just another Microsoft failure...no surprise there
  • They are doing so so that they can kill off Cortana as they have lost faith in it. Remember Windows 10 mobile? This site is less of a news source and more of PR mouth of Microsoft.
  • Do people really care about Cortana? I think people are more concerned about the search not working as expected: not finding an item even if the name almost match.
  • Many of us liked that we had a single converged interface that could track everything from our diary and package deliveries to the local news and weather, which also acted as a natural language interface for searching. It was "almost" like something that you would expect from a science fiction movie. Now we have Windows XP search, plus a hobbled voice assistant. It's a big step backwards especially for those of us who became sued to using Cortana on our phones back when Microsoft still supported it. Having everything in one place was just so useful.
  • Hardly anyone cares about cortana. They use Google or Siri on mobile and might have an echo.
    The strategy to split them makes sense, but the result will be that Cortana will be even more completely ignored.
  • I wouldn't sar PR site for Microsoft.. However the sponsor content really dilutes the little news a few editorials that pop up. As for Cortana.... The recent feature pull where I can no longer SMS from my PC is a deal breaker. Why did I lose this functionality? In the name of Creativity?
  • That functionality has been moved into the Your Phone app.
  • But it still works with my Windows Phone. Coming closer and closer to moving to an android phone. Mostly because my business management software solution has an app on iOS and Android. This will make me even more productive, once I bit the bullet and move to android. I have been waiting on Launcher for Android to get stabilized and the fact that the app was just released.
  • Thanks Zac. I get that solution for the masses but "Your Phone" doesn't work with my HP Elite X3 or for anyone's iPhone (as far as I know).
  • Microsoft isn't building features for Windows 10 Mobile devices anymore. Windows 10 Mobile is dead, so it will not be getting support for Your Phone and will slowly lose more integration features with your PC over time. All future phone integrations with Windows 10 will be focused on iOS/Android devices, not Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Yeah. I understand every word you said and your are correct. However its very poor that these features just get pulled over night. Some warning on losing a feature would have been nice. Microsoft/HP got $1000 AUD for this HP Elite X3 just on two years ago and for features to get yanked and regress with no warning is embarrassing and proves they give no concern to their customer base. Good luck on getting me to buy something consumer from MS again. If I'd brought a top of the range iPhone for top dollar 2 years ago... I guarantee i wouldn't miss a feature like this... And its all good and fair to say the "platform is dead" but where is the duty of care to me...? Their (Microsoft's) loyal customer? The only hint of acknowledgement is a Joe Belfore tweet back when insider builds forked. No one from HP, Microsoft or even via the W10M built in messages or hints in tips have they reached out and said... "hey we are sunsetting this or that". Have fun Android customers... Enjoy My phone... Let's hope Jolla and Sailfish can soon get it together.
  • Hopefully when they split it will be easier to delete/block/hide/uninstall/kill Cortana.... It's a complete waste of system resources when you don't use it..
  • I hope I'm wrong, but it seems to me with Microsoft trying to play well with other operating systems separating the two makes sense. I have a Microsoft launcher on my Android work phone and Cortana competes with Google's assistant, (and wins, I get Bing points). By doing away with Cortana you allow them to better integrate, Google, Siri, Alexa home, the auto units; etc.
    I've loved Cortana from the start, on Windows phone "she", from the beginning, outshined all others because of the integration in all of the OS, here lobotomizing "her" just makes good business sense. Only time will tell..
  • A separation means that those regions that (still) does not have Cortana now can get (better) search...
  • The only reason to split them is because Microsoft wants to promote Alexa instead of Cortana for some reason. Too bad really, I want to use Cortana, but it is becoming depreciated down to a skill for other assistants from being an assistant. This is not because of the integration with Alexa, but because Microsoft has failed to use its capabilities to support and grow Cortana. Microsoft doesn't need third parties to create speakers, thermostats, etc.. Just look at the new Surface headphones that are first rate (surprisingly with for Cortana). Microsoft needs to support Cortana with first party and first rate speakers, thermostats, etc.. Maybe even speakers with a display that would be a version of the Surface Go or is it just an app that will run on a Surface or Windows 10 device in general.
  • They split them up because Cortana never gained the love of the peoples nor any developer support.
    Not enough people use her to her full abilities. Maybe if they added integrated AI chips for her to live on your device and didn't rely on your connection to the outside, she might have gotten more use and appreciation.
    Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Like W10M, Microsoft will eventually kill her, although some will say: She's already dead.
  • The AI chip resides in the Data Center where Cortana does most of its heavy lifting, like speech recognition. Would it be better to put one iin your phone/computer? Maybe. But if you are calling someone, the info is processed in real time inside the data center. I remember several years ago when a "switch" was turned on. I immediately recognized that Cortana was way better at recognizing my speech. Several weeks leter I read bout how MSFT had imporved its speech recognizion algorithms that was better than human recognition of speech. Now Cortana can reliably record multi-complex sentence request from me.
  • Without a phone (the eco-system we wanted) my friends, Cortana won't survive. Just wait, and we'll see Alexa, Google Assistant, even Bixby will top Cortana soon... which is already happening! 🙂
  • Cortana will work more and more with android and iOS, which is where MSFT is devoting the resources rather than on W10M.
  • Cortana assistant should be a optional app that you can get from the store. Windows should have a search function that does searches on your device and in the cloud such as OneDrive if you choose. Otherwise most use a search engine in a browser for the web searches. I think Cortana as it was, simply provided far too much unwanted results because of its broad search criteria. I hope local device search improves in future releases. Because it sure needs it.
  • I find Cortana more helpful, especially in how it works with Outlook and Office. As I was dealing with a long complicated business trasnaction, Cortana actualy prompted me about things I needed to get done. There is work still to do to make Cortana more helpful. For instance, I was prompted to complete a task, that was performed already. My assumption is that Cortana has difficulty digesting numerous email chains and different requests to me and responses from me. MSFT still has a good bit of programming work to complete, which will takes years. Further, programs like Teams may allow Cortana to more fully understand relationships with in a project. This will allow Cortana to be more "intuitive" in providing help. Cortana asks if it is helpful meaning that MSFT is recieving feed back and I will see how well Cortana continues to imporve is true goal-improving the productivity of information processing in an increasingly digital world.
  • I can see Cortana being split from Search as a potentially good thing. But I also fear that this will just expedite her irrelevance unless they can figure something out. This kind of goes back to without mobile, Cortana isn't going to be used much. Then due to lack of usage, she will get killed. Considering the price of the Echo Dots, how expensive would it have been to just put a far-field mic into the Xbox One S/X when they killed Kinect and added Cortana to Xbox? Unless she gets a good dedicated spot and actually gets used, I don't see her lasting past 2 years before they go, "Cortana is not a focus". Hopefully this "Grand Plan" for Cortana Microsoft has works, otherwise it will just be yet another important product to go under due to mismanagement and neglect.
  • There is a bottomless pit full of failed Microsoft consumer ideas. Cortana will soon be tossed in with the rest of them.
  • Amen. +1. 3 word minimum passed
  • I was going to say will this fix the search experience. Like when I would type the whole name out, it wouldn't find a program like device manger. But when I went to test it before sending my previous comment, it's all fixed now... I guess it would be better to separate them. I didn't know they affected each other that much. And, I guess why would we need Cortana visible at all on the taskbar, yell her name and she appears like super hyper puppy.
  • Good the Assistant fad seems to have ended with a more realistic view of how people will use the applications in reality. The day Microsoft provide a search function that rival Total Commander or Everything will be a fantastic day.
  • All this is is another tactical Retreat, oh I'm sorry, retrenching from Microsoft. On my Note 8 it is completely frustrating to have to switch between Bixby and Google search. Cortana was a one-stop shop. Again, it's very upsetting because Cortana was another beautiful, evolutionary feature/product Microsoft just gave up on after half-assed effort. The dream was over the second Microsoft crawled into bed with Amazon/Alexa.
  • Cannot care less about digital "assistants", chatbots and other hype bullsh*t, that some idiots find the future of human technology. To me it's just retarded bs. Get away from movies, science fiction, Star Wars, Blade Runner etc. Nobody actually needs or uses these for more than a few times before one even forgets about their existences. Discussions about this topic is so irrelevant, but I understand why "journalists" write articles about this. Keep writing Zac.