Microsoft has officially announced that it will cease support for Cortana, its voice assistant, as a standalone app on Windows by the end of 2023. This decision marks the end of Cortana's journey on Microsoft Windows, which began in 2014 as the company's response to Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa.
Windows Copilot is Taking over
The tech giant's decision to discontinue Cortana was signaled by the introduction of Windows Copilot, a new tool that has been deeply integrated into Windows 11. Microsoft stated, “Instead of clicking the Cortana icon and launching the app to begin using voice, now you can use voice and satisfy your productivity needs through different tools”, hinting at Windows Copilot.
Microsoft is also not leaving users without alternatives. The company has been developing a suite of AI tools to replace Cortana's functionality. The new Bing, powered by OpenAI's GPT-4 technology, allows users to ask complex questions and get concise answers from reliable sources on the web. Microsoft 365 Copilot, another AI-powered tool, uses user data to help create, edit, and share content.
Windows Copilot: The Future of AI Assistance
Windows Copilot, available in preview for Windows 11 starting June 2023, provides centralized AI assistance. This tool, along with Bing Chat and first- and third-party plugins, is designed to help users focus on bringing their ideas to life, completing complex projects, and collaborating instead of spending energy finding, launching, and working across multiple applications.
While Cortana's standalone app is being phased out, Microsoft assures users that Cortana will continue to be available in Outlook mobile, Microsoft Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams display, and Microsoft Teams rooms. The company expressed excitement about continuing to innovate and use AI to help users work smarter and faster.
In the official announcement, Microsoft stated, “We hope you enjoy the new ways to use AI to save time and focus on what matters most to you”. This reflects Microsoft's commitment to leveraging AI technology to enhance productivity and streamline user experiences.