Microsoft has redefined the way it uses its Cortana virtual assistant. The company announced that it is closing its current iOS and Android apps, ending Cortana support for the Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker, and removing the original Cortana features from Surface Headphones. All of these changes will take place in 2021.
As part of these changes, Microsoft intends to transform Cortana. If now it is more of an alternative to other virtual assistants such as Google Assistant or Alexa, then in the future the company intends to make Cortana a specialized assistant focused on productivity. Microsoft already began transforming Cortana into its Windows 10 operating system earlier this year, and plans to end support for third-party features in Cortana starting September 7.
Going forward, Microsoft will focus on productivity features that repurpose Cortana and make the assistant part of the Microsoft 365 suite. By offering a less rich feature set, Microsoft hopes to create a product that can better complement existing software. However, it will not directly compete with established players such as Google and Amazon.
For device owners who lose functionality as a result of Cortana’s transformation, Microsoft is offering gift cards as compensation. Harman Kardon Invoke owners can expect a $ 50 card, while Surface Headphones buyers will receive a $ 25 card.
Source: The Verge