Microsoft is currently experimenting with removing search functionality from Cortana – the company’s intelligent virtual and personal assistant – and transforming it to be more ‘Mac-like’ in the latest Windows 10 update.
At the moment, searching is funnelled via the Cortana user interface. Other than search, Cortana brings together many things, including notes, tasks and even bots.
Cortana is, however, so complicated that it nowadays has its own dashboard. And then there is also the Cortana Device SDK as well as the complete Cortana Intelligence Suite.
For some people, particularly those who are only looking for a file, that might feel like overkill.
In Build 17040 of Windows 10, there is currently a much cleaner search user interface separate from Cortana, although Microsoft does not include it on the list of new features. To enable it, users do have to change some registry settings.
Once it is active, however, the Search User Interface turns into a box in the centre of the screen, very similar to the box in macOS Spotlight. If you want to know exactly how to do it, check out this Windows Central link for instructions and pictures.
At this stage, it is worth noting that it is uncertain whether this updated user interface will find its way to a release code as a default. If it does, it should significantly improve the user search experience.