Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, will no longer be available on the Windows operating system, according to an official announcement.
The company recently announced that it will stop providing support for the standalone Cortana app, which is frequently ignored by customers, later this year.
This move follows the release of Windows Copilot, which was announced just a week ago at Microsoft’s Build 2023 conference. Despite rumors that Copilot will be a replacement for Cortana, Microsoft’s Aaron Woodman explained that the two services serve unique functions and are not interchangeable.
Although Cortana won’t be around anymore, Microsoft guarantees customers that Windows 11 will still have access to AI experiences. The new Bing, Microsoft 365 Copilot, Windows Copilot, and voice access in Windows, which enables voice control of PCs, are notable replacements that are listed in the support page.
Cortana’s fate has been known for quite some time. First released in 2014 as a virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, it subsequently made its way to PCs with Windows 10. Cortana’s presence was enhanced by Microsoft by integrating it into many apps, similar to the present method with Copilot.
Third-party Cortana products, such as the Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker and the Johnson Controls Glas thermostat, have also been discontinued.
Microsoft gradually reduced its efforts because it saw no chance for Cortana to compete with Amazon’s Alexa. Instead of being a taskbar feature, Cortana was isolated from Windows and turned into a standalone software. It has essentially been a stand-alone program on Windows 11 for the past couple of years with no major changes or added features.
Microsoft is now focusing on Bing Chat and Copilot. The company’s emphasis on AI is clear, with plans to go forward with GPT-4, a more powerful voice assistant, rather than relying on Cortana’s basic capability.
Cortana will remain available in Outlook mobile, Teams mobile, Teams display, and Teams rooms, according to Microsoft. However, given the end of Cortana on Windows and the absence of fresh upgrades.
Furthermore, the discontinuation of Cortana signals the end of the Windows 10 era. Microsoft recently revealed that the next 22H2 release will be the operating system’s final feature upgrade.