Microsoft is finally separating Cortana and Search in the latest Windows Insider Build 18317. The update adds many more under-the-hood changes regarding Search, Fonts and Windows Console.
What’s new in Build 18317
The Big Change – Separating Search and Cortana
Going forward, we’ll be decoupling Search and Cortana in the taskbar. This will enable each experience to innovate independently to best serve their target audiences and use cases. Some Insiders have had this update for a few weeks now, and we appreciate all the feedback we’ve received about it so far! For those new to this update, when it rolls out to you, you’ll find clicking the search box in the taskbar now launches our experience focused on giving you the best in house search experience and clicking the Cortana icon will launch you straight into our voice-first digital assistant experience.
The next step in improving Start reliability
As some of you may already know, up until now Start in Windows 10 has been hosted by something called ShellExperienceHost.exe. In order to provide you with the best possible Start experience, we’re separating it into its own process, called StartMenuExperienceHost.exe. This has a number of benefits, including simplifying debugging and insulating Start from potential issues impacting other surfaces. This has been running as an experiment for a few weeks now and we’ve seen measurable improvements in the reliability amongst those that have the change, so we’re rolling it out to everyone.
We’re also making a change so that Start no longer suspends, which improves launch time.
A Better Font management experience in Settings
Insiders today can now drag and drop font files from File Explorer into the modern Settings > Fonts page to install them. After installation, click on the font in the Font page, to view the different font faces associated with the font and all the details of the font. You can also uninstall the font from this font details page. Drag and drop font installation by default is installed as a per-user font which does not require elevation, hence it will not be available for other users. To install the font for all users in the device, use the “Install for all Users” option by right-clicking the font on file explorer.
Windows Console Updates
We’ve made several fixes & improvements in Windows Console in and leading up to build 18317, including:
- Fixed GitHub issue 296 where the incorrect mouse button ID was being reported when a mouse button was released, resulting in an “unexpected mouse-drag behavior” regression
- Fixed GitHub Issue 313, enabling colors above index #15 to be set via VT OSC 4
- Colors <= 99 fixed in this build
- Colors > 99 fixed in up-coming build
- Corrected sizing issues for Linux alt-buffer apps (e.g. vim, emacs, etc.) resulting in more reliable resizing
- Fixed some issues with Consoles growing in height if scroll-forward is disabled
- Fixed ConPTY, enabling underline VT sequences to now pass correctly, allowing ConPTY-enabled apps (e.g. VSCode’s integrated terminal) to correctly receive and display underlined text
- Made ConPTY flush its output buffer before terminating ensuring apps receive all input and display correct output
- When running Tmux, correctly restore state after Win + D, resulting in Tmux’s last line of text rendering correctly
- Fixed Console to preserve a Console window’s currently colored text when executing Cmd.exe
- If using raster fonts, Console now correctly preserves the user’s font after running .NET Core code (which defaults to UTF-8 codepage 65001)
- Correct how Console scrolls text region, fixing how text is rendered in Linux’ `screen`
- Significantly improved performance of ConPTY – perf now very close to “raw pipe”
So these were the key features of Build 18317. As always, you can read about General changes, improvements, and fixes on the Windows Experience Blog!