Cortana's integration to Windows 10 was seen as one of the OS' standout features. However, since its introduction, stylistically, the search UI has remained the same. It's also somewhat unintuitive. With the release of Redstone 4, Microsoft may be changing that. Last week, the company released build 17040 to insiders that brought about several enhancements. Hidden under those improvements, though, was a change that breathed new life into the search UI of Windows 10.
First spotted by Aggiornamenti Lumia, the new UI seems to be inspired by Microsoft's longtime rival, Apple. Macs have had a universal search feature called spotlight that, as the name suggests, brings the UI to the center of the user's attention. This is exactly where Cortana lags. The digital assistant sits inconspicuously on the taskbar and is often ignored
The feature will work much the same way it works right now. Pressing Win+S will invoke the UI to the center of the screen. Its function will remain much the same as Cortana traverses through your files, settings, pictures, apps and so forth. The UI already seems to have Fluent design embedded.
As of now, Microsoft has not made the new search readily available to insiders, but you can try the new design with the help of a registry edit:
- Open Registry Editor (Type "regedit" on Run.)
- Visit HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting.
- On the Flighting folder, make a new "override" key.
- Create a new DWORD with the name ImmersiveSearch and set the value to 1 on the new override key.
- Finally, restart your system and enjoy the new UI.
It will be interesting to see if Microsoft does more with the search function other than this redesign. Needless to say, Redstone 4 is turning out to be quite an interesting update.