Microsoft’s Cortana app was supposed to be the company’s answer to Siri or Google Assistant, and then some. But to me it’s always just been that annoyingly loud voice you hear that offers to help you through the setup process of a new PC until you silence it.

Soon that voice will go silent for good. After shutting down its Cortana apps for iOS and Android a few years ago, Microsoft now says it will end support for Cortana as  standalone Windows app later this year.

Cortana isn’t entirely dead just yet: Microsoft says its assistant software will  still be available in some Windows applications including Outlook Mobile, Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams display, and Microsoft Teams rooms. But the future for Cortana doesn’t look bright.

Instead, Microsoft is making big bets on new generative AI features, through its partnership with OpenAI (the company behind Dall-E and ChatGPT). Microsoft notes that some Cortana alternatives are already available to Windows users, including:

  • Voice access in Windows 11 allows you to control your PC with your voice.
  • Bing’s new AI-powered experience lets you ask questions using natural language and get responses… which are sometimes even accurate.
  • Microsoft 365 Copilot is an AI-based tool for creating, editing, and sharing content incorporating data from your Microsoft apps and services including calendar appointments, documents, and email messages.
  • A preview of Windows Copilot will be available this month, and in a lot of ways it sounds like a next-gen Cortana, allowing you to ask questions, adjust Windows settings, and more… but it can also do things like summarize contents of a web site or other content on your screen.

via xda-developers

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  1. Bing copilot & edge browser are just as annoying as Cortana Microst can genocide them too. Edge is ironic name for lousy software

  2. I don’t think any of these assistants ever lived up to their hype. But especially Cortana which had little useful tools baked in from the start and very little third party interest. Again, Microsoft goes off half baked with a ideal and never follows up. Be interesting to see if they learned with Copilot.

    1. Well, Microsoft sank $10 billion into OpenAI, and that’s no small penny. I’d say they have more to lose this time around.

      Think of it this way, all the howling in congress ClosedAI was doing over how “dangerous” AI is and needs to be regulated. I (and many others) think it’s just a ploy to clamp down on the competition. They are very vulnerable to competition, especially by those that are good enough to be run locally on people’s devices at home.

  3. “Microsoft is pulling the plug on Cortana for Windows”.

    Of course they are. They have something better now. Better ways to hoover up your data.

    Man I really miss the 98/2000/XP days. That was the height of computing for me. Now that I’ve made the switch (a second time) back to linux, I’m not missing the bugs but it’s better than what Microsoft is coming out with now.

    Software bugs but no telemetry and more privacy/security – or clean UI, invasive tracking, little to no privacy and clippy 2.0 that you can’t shut off. Hmm… I’ll take the bugs, please.

    1. Hmm, what are the chances that benevolent Microsoft might include a cortana uninstaller for those on older windows boxen that would like to be rid of it completely? Think it might happen? That might actually convince me to keep that backup of windows that I have if they did that.