Microsft has pushed an update for its Cortana app on Windows 11 that disables the digital assistant. The move comes three years after the company killed its Cortana apps for iOS and Android.
Following the update, if you try to launch Cortana on Windows 11, you’ll see a notice saying, “Cortana in Windows as a standalone app is deprecated.” The notice links to this support page about the end of support for the digital assistant.
Moreover, Microsoft plans to kill Cortana in Teams mobile, Teams Display, and Teams Rooms in the fall of 2023. Cortana in Outlook mobile “will continue to be available,” however.
Cortana started as a digital assistant on Windows Phone and eventually came to Windows 10 in 2015. It had fairly deep integration with Windows, allowing people to do voice commands, set reminders, open applications and more. Cortana was even baked into the set-up process for new Windows devices.
However, Cortana struggled against digital assistants from other companies, including Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri. Arguably, Cortana’s fate was sealed with the death of Windows Phone.
Despite the end of Cortana, Microsoft is hard at work on another digital assistant in Windows Copilot. This time around, it’s a chatbot of sorts powered by Bing Chat (which in turn is powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4) rather than a voice assistant named after a video game character.
Header image credit: Rockstar/Xbox