In an updated post on the Windows blog, Microsoft has confirmed that it is removing the option to use any browser other than Edge, and any search engine other than Bing, as an integrated option within Cortana. That means if you want to use Cortana for launching web pages or for performing searches in Windows 10, you’ll no longer be able to use Google Chrome or Google Search.

In a section titled ‘Protecting the Integrated Search Experience in Windows 10’, Microsoft claims that some software programs have been redirecting users to search providers not designed to work with Cortana. Apparently, this leads to a less reliable and less predictable experience.

The continuity of these types of task completion scenarios is disrupted if Cortana can’t depend on Bing as the search provider and Microsoft Edge as the browser. The only way we can confidently deliver this personalized, end-to-end search experience is through the integration of Cortana, Microsoft Edge and Bing – all designed to do more for you.

Starting today, to ensure we can deliver the integrated search experience designed for Windows 10, Microsoft Edge will be the only browser that will launch when you search from the Cortana box.

Now we all know that while Bing is pretty, and can show relevant and useful results, it’s not as fast, reliable or intuitive as Google Search. And while Microsoft’s arguments may be sort of valid, it seems a little desperate from the tech giant. It’s almost as if the only way they can guarantee consumers use their browser and search products is if they make them the only options within Cortana.

A decade ago, this would have fallen into monopolistic behavior but clearly things have changed.

With Internet Explorer market share slipping, Chrome growing and Edge barely making a dent, you can understand why Microsoft is seeking to protect its own programs. Thankfully customers can still install other browsers on Windows 10, and set Google as the default search provider in Microsoft Edge. They just can’t access them directly within Cortana.

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