A few days ago we told you that Microsoft is pulling out Cortana from the Microsoft Launcher and we were speculating that the stand-alone app will not be long for this world. Well, we now have confirmation that this is the case for selected countries and soon probably for all countries where it’s available. Microsoft announced that by January 31, 2020, the Cortana app itself will stop working for users in Australia, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Germany, Spain, and the U.K.
According to Engadget, Cortana isn’t going away per se. It’s just that Microsoft is changing their strategy when it comes to their digital assistant. If at first they thought about competing with Google Assistant, Alexa, Bixby, and other similar apps, they now realized that is not what their customers are using it for. And so instead of a single place where you can access Cortana, they are integrating it into Outlook and other Microsoft 365 Productivity apps.
So by January 31, 2020, you will not be able to access content like reminders and lists in the Cortana mobile app and Microsoft Launcher as well. You will still be able to access them through the To Do app as they will be automatically synced there. You can also use Cortana on Windows, at least for now. A new version of Microsoft Launcher will be, errr, launching by next year and this will not have Cortana anymore.
For now, the only countries where Cortana will be removed are the eight ones mentioned earlier. But we will probably expect other countries to eventually be added to the list, including the U.S. Whether that will be after January 2020 or if they will be amending the list before then, we don’t know yet as of now. But just accept the fact that Cortana as we know it will be gone by next year.
And for those who have been using it as a digital assistant, don’t worry, you have a lot of other choices. Microsoft has even brought an Alexa-Cortana crossover a few months ago, so we might see them pushing Amazon’s own digital assistant as an eventual replacement.