Windows 10 may get floating Cortana search experience similar to Apple’s Spotlight

Microsoft is testing a new Cortana interface that floats on the desktop, just like macOS Spotlight.

Cortana immersive search
Cortana immersive search

The next version of Windows 10 (version 1803) may include a new search interface that floats on the desktop. According to the Aggiornamenti Lumia (Italian) blog (via TheVerge), Microsoft seems to have added a new search experience on Windows 10 build 17040 released on November 16.

The new experience, which is not enabled by default, pops up when clicking the Cortana button in the Taskbar and replaces the old experience, which clearly indicates that Microsoft wants to improve search when using a keyboard.

Other than the new floating interface, the functionalities are still the same as before. When you invoke Cortana, the experience appears, and typing a search query will display the same results like when using the Start menu/Cortana on Windows 10.

The new search box can also be launched using the Windows key + S keyboard shortcut, and everything looks similar to Apple’s Spotlight on macOS.

Cortana floating experience
Cortana floating experience

Microsoft seems to be in the early stages of testing, as such it could take some time until the company officially makes it available to testers, or discard the feature completely.

If you’re a participant of the Windows Insider Program running build 17040, you can use these steps to try the search experience.

What do you think about the new search experience? Tell us in the comments.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].