If you are still using the Cortana digital assistant from Microsoft as a Windows app, it's time to sit down as we deliver some bad news. Microsoft announced today that support for the app will end sometime before the end of 2023.
The end of the Windows Cortana app was revealed via a support note on Microsoft's website. The page did not offer a specific date in 2023 for when the app's support will shut down. The page did say that Cortana will continue as a digital assistant for Outlook on mobile apps. It will also be available on Microsoft Teams on mobile, on display, and in Teams rooms.
The support page makes it pretty clear that Microsoft is moving away from digital assistants like Cortana in favor of AI assistants like Bing Chat, Microsoft 365 Copilot, and the recently announced Windows Copilot. It also mentioned the integrated voice access feature in Windows 11 as an alternative to Cortana.
Microsoft first launched the Cortana digital assistant in 2014 as a way to compete with Apple's iOS virtual assistant Siri. However, Cortana never really caught on, and in 2021, it killed support for the iOS and Android apps.
With Microsoft now going all in with AI, even its CEO Satya Nadella admitted back in March that virtual assistants like Cortana were a dead end. He even stated in an interview with the Financial Times, "They were all dumb as a rock." He added about Cortana, "We had a product that was supposed to be the new front-end to a lot of [information] that didn’t work.”
Nadella and the rest of Microsoft clearly believe that AI assistants like Bing Chat and its Copilot services will do the jobs that Cortana was supposed to do. Only time will tell if that prediction will be correct.