Microsoft has confirmed the discontinuation of Cortana, its AI assistant, on Windows. The company announced that it would no longer support Cortana in Windows as a standalone application starting later this year. This move is a part of the company’s shift towards newer AI-powered tools as Cortana appears to have outlived its usefulness.
Cortana was first introduced to Windows 10 in 2015, marking a significant milestone in Microsoft’s venture into AI. It was designed to assist users with various tasks, such as setting reminders, launching applications, and answering questions using voice commands. Over time, Cortana became an integral part of the Windows experience, with its prominent position on the user’s taskbar.
However, over the years, Microsoft has been gradually phasing out Cortana. The AI assistant lost its prominence with the release of Windows 11, where it no longer appeared on the user’s taskbar or the first boot experience. Microsoft also discontinued the Cortana app on iOS and Android in 2020 and ceased support for Cortana on its Surface headphones and other devices.
The discontinuation of Cortana doesn’t come as a surprise, as Microsoft had been building out its suite of AI-powered tools. At its Build conference in May, Microsoft introduced its new tool, Windows Copilot. This new tool will reside in the taskbar and use AI to perform various tasks that Cortana once did, including summarizing content, rewriting text, asking questions, and adjusting computer settings.
While it’s unclear exactly when Microsoft will remove Cortana from Windows, it’s evident that the company’s focus is shifting towards its growing suite of AI tools, which includes Bing chatbot and Microsoft 365 Copilot. However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Cortana. Microsoft has stated that Cortana will still be available in Outlook Mobile, Microsoft Teams Mobile, Teams display, and Teams rooms, although it’s uncertain for how long.
Microsoft’s decision to end support for Cortana marks the end of an era. However, it also signals a fresh beginning with newer, more advanced AI-powered tools like CoPilot, promising a more streamlined and efficient user experience. As we bid farewell to Cortana, we look forward to the evolution and growth of Microsoft’s suite of AI tools with its partnership with OpenAI ChatGPT.