As part of a shift in focus, Microsoft announced Cortana’s withdrawal from iOS and Android next year. The change will also affect smart speakers and Surface Headphones.
Microsoft announced Cortana’s withdrawal on mobile devices, its smart assistant with which it planned to face Siri or Alexa. The company announced a series of adjustments for the future and integration of the assistant with other services. The most obvious change is that the Cortana app will disappear from iOS and Android in early 2021, as will the skills developed by third parties.
In an entry on its website, Microsoft revealed that support for third-party Cortana skills will end on September 7. Subsequently, in early 2021 they will stop supporting the app for iOS and Android. The technology company argues that the change is due to the fact that it is possible to perform productivity tasks with the integration of Cortana in Windows 10, Outlook for mobile phones and the Teams app.
What about future of Cortana?
Microsoft announced Cortana’s withdrawal from iOS and Android but Cortana will not disappear entirely, but will integrate differently with Microsoft services. The company assures that this is a change of focus towards an artificial intelligence-based assistant experience for Microsoft 365.
Cortana will cease to exist as we originally knew it
With this decision, Cortana will cease to exist as we originally knew it. A year ago the wizard separated from Windows 10 and debuted as a standalone app in the Microsoft Store. It subsequently disappeared from the Xbox One with the arrival of a redesign of the user interface.
The latter made sense since the original Microsoft plan considered the Kinect sensor to perform voice commands. After the failure of the strategy and discontinuation of the hardware, Cortana lost a strong ally of its operation.
In its most recent announcement, Microsoft also mentioned that they will end support for the assistant speaker Harman Kardon Invoke in January 2021. The tech will work on a transition plan and offered a $50 gift card as a bonus to users who have this speaker.
Finally, Cortana will also say goodbye on Surface Headphones. Those who have purchased a Microsoft headset will be able to invoke the wizard through Outlook Mobile. The above will apply to both generations of Surface Headphones and Surface Earbuds. The owners of these headphones will receive a gift card as compensation.
The changes announced by Microsoft mark the end of a Cortana as a competition from Alexa or the Google Assistant. Microsoft’s proposal came late to the party and was never able to take off as expected. As with Kinect after it was discontinued, Microsoft will use Cortana technology to implement it in services such as Microsoft 365 and its mobile applications.