Microsoft yesterday announced that it will end its Cortana voice assistant’s support for Android and iOS devices. The services will end in 2021 via an update. Moreover, Cortana support for Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker, and first-generation Surface Headphones will also end in 2021. Microsoft explains that it plans to shift its AI voice assistant experience exclusively for Microsoft 365 apps.
The website reads, “As we make this shift toward a transformational AI-powered assistant experience in Microsoft 365, we need to adjust our focus areas of innovation and development to give our customers assistance where they need it most. As a result, we are making changes to some U.S. consumer-centric features and functionalities with lower usage.”
Original Cortana offered features like smart home and music control. Microsoft is ending Cortana support for Android and iOS in the hope to better complement its existing software. Besides, third-party Cortana skills will be denounced on September 7, 2020. The support for Android and iOS is expected to end somewhere in Q1 of 2021.
Integrated Cortana feature with Windows 10 is termed as the reason behind the replacement
The newly updated Windows 10 offers several integrated Cortana features for Outlook mobile and Teams app. And with this users can manage calendar, emails, and meetings pretty easily with revamped integration of Cortana with Windows 10. Besides, the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker owners would be receive a $50 gift card as compensation.
“Additionally, we are offering the opportunity to receive one Microsoft $50 gift card per active Invoke to the owner of the latest U.S.-based Microsoft account used to set up an Invoke speaker that sent a voice request to the Cortana service after July 31, 2019, and prior to this announcement,” the announcement reads.
Besides, the owners of the first-generation Surface Headphones will also be compensated with a $25 gift card. “While we’ll be removing support for the previous version of Cortana in the first version of Surface Headphones, you’ll still be able to use both versions of Surface Headphones, as well as the new Surface Earbuds, to tap into Cortana via Outlook mobile to manage your inbox and schedule with the Play My Emails feature,” adds the post.
It is evident that Cortana could not receive the same level of traction as Google Assistant or Alexa. However, this also does not mean the Cortana will be gone for good. But it will no longer a competition for Siri or Alexa voice assistants. Meanwhile, users of Invoke speakers can head here and users of Surface Headphones can head here for more information.