Cortana Becomes a Casualty of AI as Microsoft Announces That It Will No Longer Be Supporting the Personal Productivity Assistant in Windows

Image: Microsoft

The reign of AI has claimed another victim as Cortana becomes a casualty in the ongoing widespread use of newer artificial intelligence technology. Cortana debuted with Windows 10 and was named in homage to the AI character in Halo. Things were a little rocky at first with its launch but were eventually smoothed out. Microsoft has announced that it is stopping support for Cortana this month in Windows, although it will continue to be available in Outlook mobile and various Teams apps.]

Microsoft is, in turn, directing Windows users to a suite of other solutions. One of them is its recently updated Bing AI search engine that uses ChatGPT to intuitively assist users. For Windows 11 users there is Voice Access and the upcoming Windows Copilot and then also Microsoft 365 Copilot.

From Microsoft:

End of support for Cortana in Windows

We are making some changes to Windows that will impact users of the Cortana app. Starting in August 2023, we will no longer support Cortana in Windows as a standalone app. However, you can still access powerful productivity features in Windows and Edge, which have increased AI capabilities. This means you can still get help with your tasks, calendar, and email, but in new and exciting ways. This change only impacts Cortana in Windows, and your productivity assistant, Cortana, will continue to be available in Outlook mobileTeams mobileMicrosoft Teams display, and Microsoft Teams rooms.

We know that this change may affect some of the ways you work in Windows, so we want to help you transition smoothly to the new options. Instead of clicking the Cortana icon and launching the app to begin using voice, now you can use voice and satisfy your productivity needs through different tools. Here are some of the resources you can use to learn more about the alternatives:

Voice access in Windows 11: This is a new feature in Windows 11 that lets you control your PC and write text using your voice. You can use voice commands to open and switch between apps, browse the web, and read and write emails. Voice access works offline and uses advanced speech recognition to understand your speech and help you get things done.

The new Bing: The new AI-powered Bing lets you ask complex questions and get concise answers from reliable sources on the web. You can type or speak your questions and Bing Chat will give you a succinct answer citing multiple trusted sources. 

Microsoft 365 Copilot: This is a new feature that uses AI to turn your words into a powerful productivity tool. Copilot uses your Microsoft 365 data—such as your calendar, emails, chats, documents, and meetings—to help you create, edit, share content, and more. Copilot adheres to Microsoft’s AI principles and Responsible AI Standards to ensure your data is secure and private.

Windows Copilot: Available in preview for Windows 11 in June, Windows Copilot provides centralized AI assistance. Together, with Bing Chat and first- and third-party plugins, you can focus on bringing your ideas to life, completing complex projects, and collaborating instead of spending energy finding, launching, and working across multiple applications.

We are excited to keep innovating and using AI to help you work smarter and faster. We hope you enjoy the new ways to use AI to save time and focus on what matters most to you.

More inbound ADs as Cortana Becomes a Casualty of AI

As Cortana becomes a casualty of Microsoft’s latest AI-based offerings it had already received mixed reception from Windows users due to its sometimes intrusive suggestions, something its replacements are also getting criticized by Windows 11 users. In regard to Cortana those unwanted suggestions led to various users seeking methods to uninstall or block it from running. Meanwhile, earlier this year it was noted how Windows 11 was receiving more ads but now there is news that Microsoft’s upcoming Copilot AI digital assistant could also be used as a vehicle for bringing ads to the OS.

Per TechRadar:

“As for Copilot serving up adverts, this is something that Microsoft has said in the past, but the software giant appears to be pushing ahead with this frankly reckless idea. That’s not too surprising, though, as we are seeing more efforts to cram ads into Windows 11 – disguised as recommendations – lately. But obviously, it’s still a very unwelcome move in an operating system Microsoft charges you for.”

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Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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