Microsoft announced that it will end support for Cortana, its voice-activated digital assistant, on Windows and Teams by the fall of 2023. Cortana was launched in 2014 as a rival to Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant, but it failed to gain much popularity among users and developers.
Cortana in Windows as a standalone app is deprecated, meaning that it will no longer receive updates or new features. Users who have Cortana installed on their PCs will be able to use it until the end of the support date, but they will not be able to reinstall it or download it from the Microsoft Store.
Cortana in Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams display, and Microsoft Teams Rooms will also be discontinued in the fall of 2023. Users who rely on Cortana for voice commands, dictation, or translation in these apps will have to find alternative solutions.
Cortana in Outlook mobile will continue to be available, as Microsoft said it is still committed to providing voice assistance for email and calendar management.
Microsoft said that the decision to retire Cortana on Windows and Teams was made to focus on new and innovative ways to use artificial intelligence (AI) to help users with their tasks, calendar, email, and more.
One of the most promising AI features that Microsoft is working on is Windows Copilot, which will be available in preview for Windows 11 in June. Windows Copilot is a centralized AI assistant that integrates with Bing Chat and various plugins to provide users with a seamless and personalized experience. It can help users with tasks such as creating, editing, and sharing content, completing complex projects, and collaborating with others.
Windows Copilot also uses Microsoft 365 data — such as calendar, emails, chats, documents, and meetings — to understand users’ needs and preferences and to offer relevant suggestions and solutions.