The end of Cortana?

 Microsoft have killed Cortana. Not completely, but she is certainly in intensive care. Living on as a shadow of herself in the area of productivity. 

On 31st March 2021 the Cortana app stopped working on Apple Iphones and Android phones. 

If you haven't spent time in the Microsoft ecosystem then this needs a little explaining. 

Cortana is a character from the Xbox Halo series of games. She was an artificially intelligent hologram that assisted the game hero the Master Chief. In doing so she also helped the player navigate the game. When Microsoft added an AI to it's WindowsPhone mobile OS there was a popular wish for her to be called Cortana. 

Cortana became the front for Microsoft's search property Bing and added in reminders, phone functions etc. You could tell Cortana what sports you cared about or anything else that was significant. By 2015 Windows 10 baked in Cortana to desktop search and it even helped setup your Windows PC,

However, the place where you really need a voice assistant is when you are out and about. Asking directions, dictating short text messages and the like. I used to use Cortana to set my work shifts on my calendar. 

The lack of popularity of WindowsPhone, despite plenty of innovation and uniqueness, left Cortana as the poor relation in mobile. Amazon then targeted the home with it's Alexa assistant. Microsoft was left with just a PC AI. The place you are least likely to use a standalone assistant. 

Over the last 18 months Microsoft has re-positioned Cortana into it's main market of business and productivity. She will now live a narrower existence in applications like Outlook. Helping you schedule business meetings, reminding you to reply to email etc. She will be a productivity assistant. 

The only app left will be a cutdown search box on Windows 10. Other than the area of games Microsoft has abandoned the consumer market. 


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