Cortana to be discontinued as iOS and Android app

CortanaMicrosoft will be discontinuing its Cortana app for iOS and Android in January, at least in select countries. The Verge reports that a new support article has appeared on Microsoft’s UK, Canada, and Australia’s web site instances notifying users of the pending change.

Cortana is Microsoft’s voice-operated digital assistant, its version of Siri or Alexa. Named after the AI character in Bungie’s popular Halo game, the software made its debut in Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. Microsoft made it available for iOS starting in 2015.

Microsoft has continued to refine and improve Cortana since then, but it has failed to develop the same sort of use that Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant have. Earlier this year Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella indicated his company would emphasize a different strategy for Cortana, describing it to The Verge as “a skill for anyone who’s a Microsoft 365 subscriber.” The support announcement is consistent with that strategy:

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.

It is unclear at this point if Microsoft is limiting the Cortana app’s deprecation to these three countries only, or if this will be more widespread.

Will you miss Cortana? Did you ever bother to download it? Let us know in the comments.