In the next Windows 10 update, Cortana and Search are breaking up

The next Windows 10 update will see a pronounced separation between the Cortana assistant and the operating system’s search functionality.

Microsoft announced the change in a blog post on Wednesday, published alongside a new Insider build of the world’s leading desktop OS. Microsoft says the conscious uncoupling will enable each feature to focus on their target audiences and use cases. Cortana is gaining more traction as a productivity tool, for example.

Many users had wondered aloud about why the two were combined in the first place, due to the annoying quirks caused by the single text box in the task bar used to issue commands to both.

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Now the text bar will only respond to search queries, while users will need to tap the dedicated Cortana button in the taskbar, or issue a voice command.

In the blog post announcing insider build 18317, Dona Sarkar and Brandon LeBlanc wrote: “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.”

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Elsewhere in Build 18317, Microsoft says it is improving the reliability of the Start menu, while adding improved font management in the Settings app.

Will separating search and Cortana within Windows 10 provide you with a better PC experience? Or does it make no difference? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.