Microsoft Ignite conference this month, the company announced a new vision for its personal productivity assistant, Cortana – which aims to make it more useful in your daily work, including e-mail, but who also see Microsoft increasing its ambition of returning from Cortana as Siri, Alexa or Google competitors True assistant. Now, other shoes have fallen, because Microsoft said it plans to close the standalone Cortana mobile application in a number of markets.
The company quietly revealed its plans to reduce support for Cortana on iOS and Android in some areas, with the end date of the January 31 2020 life period. After this point, the Cortana mobile application is no longer supported. Microsoft also said it would release the latest version of Microsoft Launcher, which will remove Cortana.
Microsoft tells us that affected markets include the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Mexico, China, Spain, Canada and India. Even though the US is not on this list today, it would not be surprising to see its support withdrawn later. The Cortana app for iOS is only ranked No. 254 in the Productivity category on the App Store, and only No. 145 on Google Play, according to current data from Sensor Tower.
After January 31, 2020, Cortana content users have created such reminders and lists that will not work either in the Cortana mobile application or in Microsoft Launcher, but will continue to be accessible via Cortana on Windows. Additionally, Cortana reminders, lists and tasks are automatically synchronized to the recently updated Microsoft To Do application, which will continue to function.
Microsoft has continuously rolled back its plans for Cortana for the past few years. At the Microsoft’s Build 2018 event, the company showed off Cortana’s interoperability with Alexa, for example – such recognition that Cortana was not strong enough on its own to serve the needs of voice assistant users. And this January, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company no longer saw Cortana as Alexa’s competitor and ended its plan to go in the direction of smart speakers supported by Cortana.
“Cortana is an integral part of our broader vision to bring the computing power of conversation and productivity to all of our platforms and devices,” a Microsoft spokesman told TechCrunch in a statement. “To make Cortana help, we integrate Cortana deeper into your Microsoft 365 productivity application, and part of this evolution involves terminating support for the Cortana mobile application on Android and iOS.”