Microsoft is killing its cross-platform AI assistant, Cortana. They announced last week that they will shut down the service for iOS and Android apps that rely on it and in addition to this, they will be ending support for the Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker. First generation Surface Headphones are also going to be affected by the change from 2021.
Unlike Google Assistant and Alexa which are used by a vast number of people for different tasks, Microsoft is now seeking a more streamlined Cortana operation instead that will see it re-focus its assistant to other enterprise applications.
To this end, the software giant has now decided to integrate Cortana in the Microsoft 365 suite. The integration into apps services like Outlook and Teams won’t see it get the full-fledged Cortana but rather a toned-down version. The original Cortana was built for anything from basic applications like search to more complex tasks like smart home controls. With this, Microsoft seems to be focusing on its successful line of services and bolstering them with the new Cortana rather than being in direct competition with Google and Amazon whose assistants are the two popular ones out there.
Microsoft is also appeasing those that may be angered by its decision to pull Cortana support from some devices and apps. Harman Kardon Invoke owners get a $50 gift card. First generation Surface Headphones owners get a $25 git card as well. Well this may not mean much but it’s the gesture tat counts right? Well the simple meaning of the announcement my Microsoft is that from next year Harman Kardon Invoke and the original Surface Headphones owners will see their otherwise smart headphones transition to being ordinary bluetooth devices.