Microsoft to Discontinue Cortana App in Most Markets

Elements of it to be integrated into Microsoft 365

Microsoft is ending the Cortana app in most markets.
iphonedigital/Creative Commons

If you’re a dedicated user of Microsoft’s Cortana — its counterpart to Siri and Alexa — this week brings with it some worrying news. The Verge is reporting that Microsoft has announced that the Cortana app will no longer be offered in most markets, with January 31 as the date set for it to take its final bow.

Reviews have frequently compared Cortana favorably to its counterparts in the voice assistant space like Alexa and Siri. Microsoft told The Verge that the end of Cortana, the app, doesn’t necessarily spell the end of Cortana, period — elements of it will turn up in Microsoft 365 and Outlook. The support article on Microsoft’s website concerning Cortana explores the future of Cortana’s technology: 

To make your personal digital assistant as helpful as possible, we’re integrating Cortana into your Microsoft 365 productivity apps. As part of this evolution, on January 31st, 2020, we’re ending support for the Cortana app on Android and iOS in your market.

According to the Verge, the markets where Cortana is ending are “UK, Australia, Germany, Mexico, China, Spain, Canada, and India.” Its fate in the United States remains to be determined; at the very least, American Cortana users are likely to be able to use it past January of next year. .

As Tom Warren writes at The Verge, the end of Cortana in the UK may have implications for some of Microsoft’s other technology: users there currently use Cortana to configure Microsoft’s Surface Headphones. The interconnectedness of technology can be a complicated thing, as many Cortana users have learned this week. 

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