Microsoft has officially shut down its Cortana app for Windows 11, marking its end after nearly a decade-long run.
The company has begun rolling out an update that effectively disables Cortana, mirroring its discontinuation of Cortana apps for iOS and Android three years ago.
Users attempting to launch Cortana on Windows 11 will see the following message: Cortana in Windows as a standalone app is deprecated. Users can also see a link to the support article.
Microsoft’s plan extends further, with support for Cortana in Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams Display, and Microsoft Teams Rooms scheduled to the end of the fall of 2023. Surprisingly, Cortana will continue to be available within Outlook mobile.
Cortana initially emerged as a digital assistant for Windows Phone before making its way to Windows 10 in 2015. It was deeply integrated into the taskbar, boasting voice commands, reminders, and the capacity to launch applications. However, with Windows 11, Microsoft removed Cortana from the taskbar and first boot experience, retaining the standalone app until now.
Cortana’s inability to keep up with competitors like Alexa and Google Assistant contributed to its decline. Microsoft’s struggles with Windows Phone also influenced the decision to discontinue Cortana. CEO Satya Nadella admitted in 2019 that Cortana has fallen behind its rivals. With Microsoft’s recent partnership with OpenAI, one would have assumed that Cortana was about to be better, but Microsoft decided to do away with the app altogether.
As Cortana bows out, Microsoft is focusing on its next-gen AI initiatives. Windows Copilot, powered by Bing Chat, is set to replace Cortana as the central AI assistance platform in Windows 11. It offers enhanced control over Windows settings, answering queries, and more. Windows Copilot is slated for release in the fall, alongside a Windows 11 update featuring native RAR and 7-Zip support.