Microsoft is rethinking its Cortana assistant, announcing it will shut down current iOS and Android apps, end Cortana support for the Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker, and remove Cortana’s original 2021 surface-generation headphone functionality.
These changes are still a few months away, but it means another big step for Microsoft in moving Cortana from Google Assistant or Alexa as an alternative to a more specialized, performance-focused assistant – changes the company has already begun making in Windows 10. of Cortana earlier this year. (To that end, Microsoft also introduced a September 7 date for the already announced decline in Cortana̵
Instead, Microsoft will focus on its performance, redeploying Cortana as part of Microsoft 365 software, citing updated Windows 10 features and Cortana’s integrated features in Outlook and Teams applications as replacements. It’s not as full-featured as the original Cortana – which offers additional features such as smart home management and music integration – but by offering a wider range of features, Microsoft hopes to create a product that better complements its existing software and competes less directly with established players such as Google and Amazon.
Microsoft is also offering a comforting $ 50 gift card offer to Harman Kardon Invoke owners who will be hardest hit by the removal of Cortana – which will effectively turn the previous smart device into an expensive Bluetooth speaker when the firmware update arrives next year. Owners of the original surface headphones (who will also see their Cortana experience removed) are also offered a gift card for $ 25 to make up for the missing service.