In a significant move, Microsoft has announced the discontinuation of its Cortana app for Windows 11, marking the end of an era for the digital assistant. The latest update to Cortana renders the app inactive, leaving users with a notice detailing the deprecation and a link to a support article elucidating the change. This development comes three years after Microsoft had already phased out its Cortana apps for iOS and Android platforms.
The demise of Cortana on Windows 11 is indicative of a broader shift in Microsoft’s strategy, as the company moves its focus towards novel innovations and solutions. The announcement also revealed that Cortana’s support will be terminated in Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams Display, and Microsoft Teams Rooms, effective during the upcoming fall of 2023. However, Microsoft has taken an unexpected stance by confirming the continued availability of Cortana within Outlook mobile.
Cortana’s journey began as a digital assistant on Windows Phone, eventually finding its way into Windows 10 in 2015. It was seamlessly integrated into the Windows 10 taskbar, enabling users to utilize voice commands, set reminders, and even launch applications effortlessly. Although Cortana was initially omitted from the Windows 11 taskbar and initial boot experience, the standalone app remained functional until its recent discontinuation.
The evolution of Cortana was intertwined with Microsoft’s endeavors in the mobile sphere, especially its challenges with Windows Phone. While significant efforts were made, Cortana struggled to establish a competitive edge against rivals like Alexa and Google Assistant. Despite a comprehensive redesign for iOS and Android, Cortana’s position in the market faltered. Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, acknowledged Cortana’s lag behind its competitors in 2019.
With the sun setting on Cortana, Microsoft is forging ahead with new ventures. One of these ventures is Windows Copilot, a novel sidebar for Windows 11 that harnesses the capabilities of Bing Chat. This innovative tool assumes the role of controlling Windows settings, answering user queries, and facilitating a range of functionalities. Anticipated to launch in the upcoming fall, Windows Copilot will be accompanied by a Windows 11 update featuring native support for RAR and 7-Zip file formats, further enriching the user experience.
The discontinuation of Cortana symbolizes Microsoft’s unwavering commitment to adapt to evolving user needs and technological trends. As the company bids adieu to one chapter, it eagerly embraces the challenges and opportunities presented by new innovations, ensuring a dynamic and ever-evolving digital ecosystem for its users.