Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant , has been slowly fading into digital oblivion. Although she had her little moments of glory – who does not remember those videos of battles between her and Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant ? -, she never succeeded in the market as her competitors have . And it seems that the Redmond company wants to say goodbye this 2021.
When personal assistants began to catch on, largely fueled by the success of Siri – the first to hit the market in 2011 – it seemed that each Big Tech was going to have its own virtual butler and new voices were growing like mushrooms. within our devices . Although anyone with some technological vision could already guess then that it did not have much future and that only the strongest would survive.
Microsoft also jumped into the voice AI craze, first introducing us to Cortana at a developer conference in San Francisco in April 2014 , when Siri was already setting the pace and a fledgling Alexa was on the brink. of being born -he arrived in November of that same year-.
Of course, remember, then the technology company also had other dreams of greatness and -we suppose- it believed that its Windows Phone operating system ‘was going to hit it’ and was going to be placed on a par with iOS and Android .
Why Cortana? He was a synthetic intelligence character in Microsoft’s Halo video game franchise .
The company initially integrated the assistant into Windows 10 desktops and devices , but soon announced that Cortana would also be available on other third-party mobile platforms , such as Android and iOS. It also reached other media, such as the Xbox One console, the Edge browser, the Skype instant messaging service or INVOKE, a voice-activated speaker launched in 2017.
Despite these efforts, Cortana always remained a second-best, something that seemed impossible considering that it comes pre-installed on hundreds of millions of computers around the world thanks to Windows 10. Microsoft’s problem was choosing the PC as the star device for his assistant instead of the mobile phone , and what he wanted to equate his competition with his own smart speaker was already -almost- all the fish sold.
With this trajectory , Cortana’s disappearance was a chronicle of an announced death , but what is striking is that Microsoft itself has decided to remove her personal assistant from our lives.
They first removed the integration with Windows Search , splitting it into a standalone app that lost many features. Then, in April of this year, it disappeared from Android and iOS, in addition to Microsoft Launcher .
Since the end of September, the Cortana skill has also been removed in Alexa . It’s only available as a tool in the company’s 365 suite anymore, and Windows 11 doesn’t even integrate it by default .
Microsoft will continue to support Cortana, but only as a function more dedicated to companies, forming part of its Microsoft 365 platform , where you will be able to access our mail , storage and will gain functions dedicated especially to those tasks -although the majority in the United States-.
Those of Redmond had very ambitious plans with Cortana, but finally the company has managed to accept a defeat in time and has said goodbye to his assistant .