Microsoft Cortana digital assistant will no longer be available as a standalone application to users in select markets. As per reports, digital assistance will not available on markets that include India, Australia, the UK, China, Spain, and Canada. Microsoft will pull the app in these markets on January 31, 2020.
After the shutdown, Cortana app users will not be able to use key functions such as reminders and lists. Users, however, can access these features through Cortana on Windows.
The move, however, doesn’t mean Microsoft is shutting down the Cortana digital assistant. Going forward, Microsoft will offer Cortana as part of Microsoft 365 applications.
“To make your personal digital assistant as helpful as possible, we’re integrating Cortana into your Microsoft 365 productivity apps. As part of this evolution, on January 31st, 2020, we’re ending support for the Cortana app on Android and iOS in your market,” said Microsoft on its support page.
“At that point, the Cortana content you created–such as reminders and lists–will no longer function in the Cortana mobile app or Microsoft Launcher, but can still be accessed through Cortana on Windows. Also, Cortana reminders, lists, and tasks are automatically synced to the Microsoft To-Do app, which you can download to your phone for free,” it added.
Microsoft introduced Cortana as a standalone application on iOS and Android in 2015. Since the launch, Microsoft has integrated the Cortana digital assistant with a slew of its applications and services including Skype and Outlook.
Even though Cortana has become much smarter from its original avatar, the digital assistant hasn’t taken off the way Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa have.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently admitted that Cortana no longer competes with Google or Alexa. “You should be able to use it on Google Assistant, you should be able to use it on Alexa, just like how you use our apps on Android and iOS so that’s at least how we want to think about where it’ll go,” Nadella had said.