Apparently, the introduction of Windows Copilot signaled the end of Cortana on Microsoft's desktop OS. In a new support document first spotted by Windows Central, the tech giant has announced that it will stop supporting the standalone Cortana app for Windows in late 2023. Microsoft launched Cortana as a voice assistant for Windows mobile devices back in 2014. It was supposed to be the company's answer to Apple's Siri, and it even predates Amazon's Alexa, but it never quite achieved their level of recognition and popularity.
Over the year, Microsoft scaled back its plans for the voice assistant until it discontinued its Android and iOS apps back in 2021. The company even removed it from partner manufacturers' devices, such as smart speakers. For Windows, in particular, Microsoft changed its status as a baked-in digital assistant and spun it out into its own app for computers. That's the app we're bidding farewell to by the end of the year.
In its announcement, Microsoft pointed out that users will still have access to "powerful productivity features in Windows and Edge, which have increased AI capabilities." It specifically mentioned the new Bing that's now powered by OpenAI's GPT-4 technology. Microsoft introduced the Microsoft 365 Copilot tool that can create content within Office apps with text-based prompts in March.
And then in late May, the company revealed at its Build developer conference that it's making AI a deeply integrated part of Windows 11 by putting a Copilot tool in the platform's sidebar. Users can ask it to perform tasks within the OS, such as changing the computer background, or even editing photos and summarizing documents, without having to launch apps or to search for particular settings. Most likely, very few people will be missing Cortana. Those that do use the assistant can transition to using Copilot, which will be available as a preview version for Windows 11 starting this month.