What is Windows 8.101?

Windows 8.101 is my humble attempt to unravel the hidden gems of Windows 8.1. In this series, I will highlight new features of Windows 8.1 and how to make the most practical use of them. In the first blog of this series, I will cover the enhancements in Search, or what I like to call Smart Search.


Smart Search

What is it?

A re-designed search function which combines local search along with a BING powered web search in a single interface.

Apart from showing web related links and searching the store, it showcases a new “hero” interface which gathers information from the Bing apps like travel, people maps and more all at once.


How does it work?

See that you are connected to the internet before trying out this feature.

Slide the Charms → Select the Search option  → Type in your search word

By clicking on the tiny arrow we get a drop down menu where we choose where we want to search. By default it searches everywhere.


 For this example I will type “Atlanta”.


As you can see it searches my computer files, my SkyDrive and also the hero interface where I have
an intelligent summary of information taken from different resources via BING.

As I slide towards the right hand side of the screen, I have web related links and searches from the store.


Settings related to Smart Search

As great as this feature maybe, some Enterprise customers would like to have control over this particular feature. These settings shown below can be set as group policies as well.

To change setting related to the Smart Search →

Slide the Charms → Select Settings → Change PC Settings → Select the Search & Apps Tab → Search Tab

On this Settings page we can disable the BING search , put filters  and also tweak certain personalization options of search. Also we can select different modes for a metered connection.


Group Policy

Bing Search can be configured/disabled using GPOs at Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Search