Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana has lost the battle against artificial intelligence. As announced by the company, it will stop supporting the application as of December 2023 and it will no longer be supported as a standalone application.
While it was a foregone conclusion, having been discontinued from smartphones and Xbox consoles, artificial intelligence dealt it the final blow. According to Microsoft’s announcement, a type of virtual assistant based on artificial intelligence is being developed. This assistant will be available for users’ daily tasks. It was this development that sealed the fate of Cortana, which will only be available for Teams and Outlook for mobile devices for voicemail playback.
The farewell of Cortana closes a stage to which Microsoft dedicated 5 years of development and kept it running for almost 10 years.
What functions did Cortana perform and what will its replacement be?
Cortana is a virtual assistant that was born in 2015 along with Windows 10 and Windows Phone. It was a native application and was inspired by the game Halo, as Cortana was the players’ assistant. It was intended to be a revolutionary tool of the time and the plan was for it to be present on all Microsoft devices such as tablets, mobiles, browsers and TVs. As was the case in the Halo game, Cortaba would be an essential assistant to solve everyday user issues on different platforms.
However, it never managed to take off and was quickly surpassed by other assistants such as Siri or Alexa. Gradually it was left aside, disappearing from the taskbar and Windows startup. Prior to the decision to discontinue it as a standalone app, it had already been discontinued from Android and iOS in 2021.
One of the factors that surely influenced the little attention Cortana got is that it was incorporated into platforms that were not very successful, such as Windows Phone or Xbox One. In Windows it was quickly surpassed by other wizards with better functionalities and was progressively losing space.
Will there be a Cortana replacement coming soon?
There is no direct replacement for Cortana, although the company’s announcement comes shortly after the unveiling of the Windows Copilot tool. It is a new assistant for Windows and also for Xbox, which will be based on the artificial intelligence behind ChatGPT. The goal is to assist in performing different tasks and operating system applications, as was also the goal of Cortana. For example, it can help you write e-mails, answer questions or modify system settings, without having to resort to an extra application.
Windows Copilot will have a Bing chatbot integrated into the search bar, also based on OpenAI’s GPT technology. Cortana’s farewell as a standalone application coincides with the arrival of Windows Copilot, so everything seems to indicate that it will be a natural replacement for the discontinued virtual assistant.