Microsoft broke the Windows 10 search box and it is a problem.

We like to think that the offline things we do on our computers are, well, offline.  But in the last couple of days, Windows 10 users around the world saw a black box on their screen instead of the search box.  Of course, most users assumed it was their own PC that was having the problem.  Some rebooted and maybe re-rebooted to no avail.  Then, as suddenly as the problem appeared, it disappeared without a trace.  So, why is this a problem?

 

Microsoft announced that the problem with the Windows 10 search box was due to a server-side issue” which has since been corrected.

Let that roll around in your brain for a moment.  A “server-side issue” interfered with your ability to run a search on your own computer.  Since when does searching for something on your own computer require the assistance of Microsoft’s servers?

Most people are aware that all their online activities are tracked and monitored.  Here in the United States, it seems we are most concerned about high tech marketers following us a little too closely; it creeps us out a bit.  But, in other parts of the world, the concern is of a far more nefarious nature.  Is a corrupt and compromised government monitoring your activities to determine your patriotism?  Is there a criminal enterprise that is attempting to access your money and data for their own ends?  Most computer users are now assuming they must be careful with their online activity.

But who knew that now searching for a file or a program on your own computer would be an activity that is trackable by Big Tech?  Nobody cares if you use the Windows search box to find the Control Panel or your last Word document.  On the other hand, what if you were searching for other, more personal or confidential items?  Would it bother you then that even by searching for that information, not in Google, but on your local hard drive, your computer would be sending data, your data, over the internet to Microsoft’s and who knows who else’s servers?

Microsoft rolled back this change and everyone’s Windows search box should be back to normal.  If yours is not back to normal, try a reboot.  That should fix it.

If you would like the Windows 10 search box and Cortana not to enlist the assistance of Microsoft’s Bing servers, please contact us here at Landau Consulting and we can help you guard your online privacy.