Come the end of January, it looks like Cortana's application is being loaded at the Microsoft Assistant Cemetery. At least the bad Clippy will already have some company.
This is according to a support article released by Microsoft this week, although only users in Australia, the UK and Canada can expect to say goodbye to the voice assistant so far. Currently, the Microsoft site in the United States does not host such a message and it is uncertain whether the app Cortana will continue to be accessible to Android and iOS by-users after the January 31 shutdown. We have contacted Microsoft for clarification on this.
"To make your personal digital assistant as useful as possible, we integrate Cortana into your Microsoft 365 productivity applications," the note said. "As part of this evolution, on January 31, 2020, we are ending support for the Cortana App for Android and iOS in your market."
After that date, any reminders or lists currently available to users in the Cortana App can be accessed through Microsoft's free To Do app, which syncs automatically.
The move is not surprising. Microsoft is gradually returning its focus to Cortana as a standalone voice assistant. In January, CEO Satya Nadella said the company no longer considered Cortana a competitor to liking Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, despite a massive attempt to rebrand the voice assistant in 2018. This time last year I also saw Leaving of Cortana chief Javier Soltero as Microsoft integrates AI voice assistant and company research into its experience and device team as a larger role in the digital assistant.
Part of what made this spin possible was the company's collaboration with another tech giant, Amazon. Microsoft welcomes its voice assistant Alexa to its products starting last year (and vice versa), in addition to opening its online and retail sites for Amazon products such as Echo and Echo Dot. The Voice Assistant also observes a diminished role in the overall Microsoft ecosystem . Earlier this year, the company announced that it would be disabling Cortana's default help during some installations of Windows 10. Later completely cut it from the search bar.
Man, hearing that Cortana gets an ax after only five years is so sad. Alex, go ahead: Hit him.