Microsoft has announced plans to retire its Cortana app on Windows later in the year. This revelation emerges shortly after unveiling the Windows Copilot, a sophisticated AI assistant built on OpenAI’s GPT language model.
Microsoft presented its latest innovation, Windows Copilot, during the Build conference in May. This new tool resides on the taskbar, replacing Cortana, and boasts a wider range of capabilities than the previous Windows assistant. Once fully launched, it will aid users in tasks like content summarization, text editing, making inquiries, and adjusting computer settings.
“Significant alterations to Windows will affect users of the Cortana app. Starting in late 2023, we will cease supporting Cortana as a standalone app in Windows… This modification only affects Cortana in Windows, and Cortana, your productivity assistant, will remain accessible via Outlook mobile, Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams display, and Microsoft Teams rooms,” the blog post elaborated.
“We understand this shift may influence how you operate on Windows, thus we aim to help you transition seamlessly to the new alternatives. Instead of clicking on the Cortana icon and launching the app to start using voice, you can now utilize voice and meet your productivity requirements through various tools.”
The Fall of Cortana Began in 2020
Cortana was first launched in 2015 as part of Windows 10, where users could use voice commands to set reminders, open applications, and ask questions.
Over time, Microsoft gradually phased out Cortana from the Windows interface. With the debut of Windows 11, the digital assistant was removed from the taskbar and was no longer included in the initial boot experience. By 2020, Microsoft had discontinued the Cortana app on iOS and Android and ceased its support for Cortana on other devices like the Surface headphones. Nonetheless, Cortana will remain available on Outlook mobile, Microsoft Teams mobile, Teams display, and Teams rooms.
Microsoft has not announced the exact date of Cortana’s withdrawal from Windows. The company is prioritizing its array of AI tools, such as the Bing chatbot and Microsoft 365 Copilot.