We have been talking about the end of Cortana for a while, a reality that Microsoft is putting into practice in a way quite cautious and calm. This has an explanation, and that is that the Redmond giant has chosen to keep it limited to the professional sector, that is, it has embarked on a transition that will lead Cortana to become a focused and limited assistant to productivity.
This has an important consequence, and that is that little by little we have been seeing a transition that points to a gradual disappearance of Cortana both in the applications that were available in different operating systems, including Android and iOS, and in those cases in which skills that had been developed by third parties were used to enhance the possibilities of said assistant.
We already have specific dates, and a new round of information that helps us understand a little better what exactly Microsoft wants to do with Cortana. Starting September 7 said assistant will no longer be compatible with those skills and functions developed by third parties, applications for iOS and Android will disappear in 2021, which are still available in some markets, and Cortana will shift to focus on productivity-related tasks.
This points, as you may have imagined, to an integration of Cortana in applications like Outlook and Microsoft Teams, among other. The end of Cortana’s support on other devices, such as the Harman Kardon Invoke and Surface Headphones, will come true in January 2021. To compensate users of the said smart speaker, Microsoft plans to offer a gift voucher worth $ 50. , and will also offer a gift voucher to users of Surface Headphones and Surface Earbuds, albeit limited to $ 25.
Cortana turns to the professional sector, but why?
The explanation is quite simple. The Redmond giant made a very ambitious bet with Cortana, but in the end did not finish living up to it, and did not generate the same interest as other first-level attendees. In this sense, I think that we should be fair to Microsoft, and bear in mind that its departure from the smartphone sector significantly affected the original plans they had with said assistant.
Microsoft had to improvise and that adapt on the fly the plans you originally had for Cortana. Her efforts ended up falling on deaf ears, and in the end the company led by Satya Nadella has concluded that positioning her as a specialized productivity assistant is the best way out.
With this move by Microsoft Cortana stop being a direct rival to other assistants like Siri, from Apple, or Alexa, from Amazon. It seems that Microsoft has not finished finding the space of its well-known assistant, who has been integrated into many of the company’s products and services, but has ended up being withdrawn in a rather discreet way. Remember that even Xbox One had Cortana integrated, and that in the end it disappeared with an update that considerably changed the interface.
Cortana’s future is perfectly defined. Its end in the general consumer market is marked and finalized, but will remain “alive” in the professional sector, thanks to its integration in the set of applications and solutions that shape Microsoft 365.