Microsoft’s digital assistant bids adieu on mobile.
Cortana, Microsoft’s own personal digital assistant, is saying goodbye on mobile devices. This also means that Cortana’s integrated features with Microsoft apps like To Do will cease to work by early 2021. Along with that, Microsoft is retiring third-party skills for Cortana on September 7th, which was a way for the virtual assistant to be able to control services like Spotify.
“As we make this shift toward a transformational AI-powered assistant experience in Microsoft 365, we need to adjust our focus areas of innovation and development to give our customers assistance where they need it most. As a result, we are making changes to some U.S. consumer-centric features and functionalities with lower usage,” Microsoft said in a blog post. Microsoft has initially discontinued Cortana in other countries that include Canada, Australia, and the UK earlier this year.
Additionally, devices that use Cortana like the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker will lose Cortana access in January 2021. A firmware update released next year helps you connect through the Invoke speaker via Bluetooth. Along with that, US-customers who bought the Invoke speaker will also be getting a $50 gift card.
“We’ve spent a lot of time thinking through this transition and understand that these changes may be disruptive to some of our customers. We look forward to continuing to innovate on ways Cortana can help you navigate the modern workplace so you can save time and focus on the things that matter most in your day,” Microsoft concluded.
The announcement is somewhat of a final nail in the coffin for Cortana. It was originally released as a competitor to Apple’s Siri and the Google Assistant, but it failed to capture an audience.