Thursday, September 21, 2023

Microsoft removes Cortana from Windows 11, the end of an era

Now yes, Cortana is dead forever. Microsoft has finally removed its old voice assistant from one of the last places it still works: the Windows 11 app. The good news is that they’re already rolling out new bets. That system—similar to Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa—debuted in 2014 on the now-discontinued Windows Phone. It then made its way to the most popular mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android without much success. Three years ago they decided to discontinue it in those settings.

The Redmond company is rolling out a new update that simply disables the digital assistant in the latest version of its main PC operating system. When trying to start Cortana in Windows 11, users get a prompt saying that the app is outdated. Additionally, they are redirected to a support article that explains the details of this decision.

What will be the future of assistance software? In Q3 2024, Microsoft will remove Cortana, too, from Teams Mobile, Teams Display, and Teams Room. In effect, it will end support on those services. It will only keep it working in the mobile version of Outlook.

Microsoft removes Cortana from Windows 11: story of a death foretold

Microsoft removes Cortana from Windows 11, the voice assistant that debuted on Windows Phone.

Cortana came to light nearly a decade ago, when Microsoft first showed it off at Build 2014, its developer event. At that time, the American firm had ambitious plans for mobile platforms. the voice assistant debuted on Windows Phonethe proposal of those from Redmond to compete with iOS and Android.

After its initial step on mobile devices, Cortana was added to Windows 10 in 2015, where it had a prominent presence on the taskbar. Across the different platforms, the proposal matched that of other personal assistants. Among other features, it recognizes voice commands, opens apps, and helps users with reminders.

The appearance of Windows 11 in 2021 began to “dig the grave” of the assistant. Microsoft removed Cortana from the taskbar in its new operating system. Also, it is not pre-installed in that environment. Thus, the application was maintained independently. In other words, those interested in using it could download it from the official app store.

In 2019, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft acknowledged that Cortana was relegated to its competitors. For the rest, the system was associated with the failure of Windows Phone, which failed to position itself as an alternative in the mobile device market.

Windows Copilot is Microsoft’s new assistance plan

Microdoft Copilot, the GPT-4 based artificial intelligence for Office.
Microdoft Copilot, the GPT-4 based artificial intelligence for Office.

Microsoft eliminates Cortana, although it does not sit idly by in the field of personal assistance. The American technology plan has its own name: Copilot. This is a new tool that adds the benefits of Bing Chat, the result of a collaboration between Microsoft and OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT.

The novelty, which was presented in May, will introduce the new benefits of artificial intelligence through a virtual assistant. A detail to keep in mind: you will have to pay $30 a month to use Copilotwhich does not include the fee to access Microsoft 365.

Microsoft’s new assistant proposal is based on GPT-4, the foundation on which ChatGPT works. The idea is to stretch the capabilities of the firm’s various services. For example, in Word you can write drafts, summarize texts, or add content to existing documents. For its part, in Excel it will simplify the use of formulas: the user can indicate them in natural language so that the program does the most complex mathematical work. In all cases, it is offered as a chatbot that appears in the side menu, similar to Bing in Edge.

Thus, Microsoft removes Cortana from Windows 11 and paves the way for a new era of digital assistance, crossed by the new artificial intelligence systems. As we count in hypertextual, Copilot it will also be available in the operating system to offer suggestions and support users in their daily tasks.

Windows Copilot is expected to be available globally next year. There is no official date for that launch yet, although it is known that it will happen during the third quarter of 2024.

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