The most recent blow to the world’s best Halo shout-out, Microsoft revealed by way of help pages that it’ll quickly be shutting down the Cortana app — not for everybody, however definitely for a few of its largest markets.
The change was quietly revealed in a Cortana support article on Microsoft‘s web site. Microsoft stated it’s “integrating Cortana into your Microsoft 365 productiveness apps” and due to this fact discontinuing the app itself. Beginning January 31, you’ll not be capable of obtain the Cortana app. Based on Microsoft, the app will likely be pulled from the Google Play and App Shops in UK, Australia, Germany, Mexico, China, Spain, Canada, and India at the moment. The app will nonetheless be out there within the US, however I’ll wager for not for much longer after that.
As for why it’s making this alteration, a Microsoft spokesperson informed TNW:
Cortana is an integral a part of our broader imaginative and prescient to deliver the facility of conversational computing and productiveness to all our platforms and gadgets. To make Cortana as useful as doable, we’re integrating Cortana deeper into your Microsoft 365 productiveness apps, and a part of this evolution entails ending help for the Cortana cellular app on Android and iOS.
For individuals who used the service to create lists and duties, Microsoft says, “Cortana reminders, lists, and duties are routinely synced to the Microsoft To Do app, which you’ll obtain to your cellphone without spending a dime.”
Microsoft‘s been slowly-but-surely killing Cortana during the last yr — or, given the “deeper integration” they talked about, maybe “suppressing” is extra correct to say. The voice assistant has been faraway from the Home windows search bar and from Xbox One, and now it’s not going to have its personal app. Supposedly the removing of the latter was as a result of, in response to an Xbox exec, the console’s directives “transferring away from on-console experiences to cloud-based assistant experiences.” Cortana‘s apparently not a kind of cloud-based assistants, however Microsoft did recently add Google Assistant support.
As for what the corporate plans to do with Cortana now, Andrew Schuman, Microsoft‘s head of Cortana (what a title) told Windows Central that it really works greatest with Outlook: “We now have 100 million lively customers in Outlook Cellular. Customers are utilizing Outlook as a hub each day. Stepping into a number of instances a day, all the time checking what’s coming subsequent. It’s a rather more pure invocation of an assistant, particularly since an assistant is about managing time, folks, and duties.”
Along with leaving the shops, Microsoft says “there will likely be an up to date model of Microsoft Launcher with Cortana eliminated” on January 31.
Apple is holding a surprise event in December, but don’t expect much