The digital assistant was first part of Windows Phone and now it’s being discontinued on Windows.
Microsoft has shut down its Cortana app for Windows 11. A new update is rolling out for Cortana that simply disables the digital assistant three years after Microsoft also discontinued its Cortana apps for iOS and Android.
If you attempt to launch Cortana on Windows 11 you’ll now be met with a notice about how the app is deprecated and a link to a support article on the change. Microsoft is now planning to end support for Cortana in Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams Display, and Microsoft Teams Rooms “in the fall of 2023.” Surprisingly, Cortana inside Outlook mobile “will continue to be available,” according to Microsoft.
Cortana originally started off life as a digital assistant in Windows Phone, ahead of Microsoft adding the assistant to Windows 10 in 2015. It was deeply integrated into the Windows 10 taskbar, with support for voice commands, reminders, and the ability to open applications. Microsoft then dropped Cortana from the Windows 11 taskbar and first boot experience, but kept the standalone app until this week.
Ultimately, Cortana struggled to compete with rivals like Alexa or Google Assistant, despite a large redesign for iOS and Android. The fate of Cortana was largely linked to Microsoft’s failures with Windows Phone, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella admitted in 2019 that Cortana had fallen behind competitors.
Microsoft is now working on Windows Copilot, a new sidebar for Windows 11 that is powered by Bing Chat and can control Windows settings, answer questions, and lots more. Windows Copilot is expected to be available this fall as part of a Windows 11 update that will also include native RAR and 7-Zip support.