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Microsoft officially kills the Cortana app on Windows 11

Microsoft has parted ways with its long-standing companion Cortana. The focus now shifts onto redeveloping Windows Copilot.

alexa cortana coop
Image: Microsoft

Three years after discontinuing Cortana apps for iOS and Android, Microsoft is putting the final nail in the coffin of its Windows 11 Cortana app. An update is being released, which essentially deactivates the digital assistant.

Therefore, if you try to launch Cortana on Windows 11, you will receive a notification saying that the app is no longer supported, along with a button that says “Learn more” which is linked to an article detailing the new change.

Microsoft plans to stop supporting Cortana in Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams Display, and Microsoft Teams Rooms by the fall of 2023. However, Cortana will still be available in Outlook mobile.

The image is informing the user that the Cortana app in Windows is no longer supported and provides links to relevant Microsoft documents. Full Text: Cortana in Windows as a standalone app is deprecated. Learn More Microsoft Software Licence Terms Microsoft Privacy Statement Microsoft Services Agreement K
Image: KnowTechie

Cortana’s on-and-off journey

It officially landed as a digital assistant — much like what you see on iPhone as Siri or Android’s Google Assistant.

In 2015, Microsoft integrated the successful assistant into Windows 10, where it found its place in the taskbar. It became a handy companion for Windows users, providing basic features like voice commands and reminders.

However, the charm didn’t last long. With the arrival of Windows 11, Microsoft dropped it from the taskbar and the initial boot experience, maintaining only the standalone app until recently

Cortana struggled among competitors like Alexa, Google Assistant

Despite regular updates, Microsoft’s assistant lost its charm. In 2021, Microsoft pulled the plug and called off its digital assistant from App Store and Google Play Store — putting an end to a 7-year-old legacy.

Similarly, the platform that birthed the digital assistant Cortana, Windows Phone, faced its own set of hurdles and was ultimately discontinued by the end of 2019.

In a candid admission, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, in 2019, openly acknowledged that Cortana had fallen behind its rivals.

Windows Copilot is the new Cortana?

microsoft copilot demo screen showing all the new ai intergratrions
Image: Microsoft

The new flavor in town is Windows Copilot. Windows Copilot is an AI-powered coding assistant developed by Microsoft. It is designed to help developers write code more efficiently by providing suggestions, autocompletion, and code snippets based on context.

Windows Copilot uses machine learning algorithms to analyze existing code patterns and generate relevant suggestions in real-time. It aims to improve developer productivity and reduce the time spent on repetitive coding tasks.

Could Windows Copilot be the new Cortana? It’s still too early to make that call. However, Microsoft is certainly pulling out all the stops to revamp the coding assistant, leveraging the capabilities of Bing Chat in the process.

Windows Copilot is anticipated to launch this fall and will be a part of the comprehensive Windows 11 update, which will also feature native support for RAR and 7-Zip file formats.

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Abhinav covers consumer technology, maintains a love-hate relationship with AI, and when he's not working, he's either smashing the phone's keyboard or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

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