With the end of Windows 10 Mobile’s life and the strategic shift around productivity, the future of Cortana, Microsoft’s digital voice assistant, is fraught with uncertainty. Microsoft recently announced a strategic contraction of Cortana (Chinese: Microsoft Cortana) and will exit the iOS and Android platforms on January 31, 2020. Microsoft has delayed the removal of non-U.S. locations at Microsoft Launcher until March 20, but it’s unclear whether Cortana will be used properly before that date, and the reason for the delay is unclear, according to a recent tweet by journalist Zac Bowden.
Cortana voice assistants are currently available only in eight countries: China, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Spain and India. “Cortana is part of our broader vision to bring dialogue computing and productivity to all of our platforms and devices,” the statement read. To make Cortana as useful as possible, we integrated Cortana more deeply into the Microsoft 365 Productivity application, and part of this evolution involved ending support for Cortana mobile apps on Android and iOS. “
Microsoft first launched Cortana for iOS and Android in December 2015, which was originally designed to connect Windows 10 PCs and phones. Despite major redesigns, Microsoft has failed to compete with other vendors’ voice assistants on the phone side and elsewhere.
Cortana is now embedded in devices such as Xbox, Windows 10 and Invoke speakers, and Microsoft has promoted Cortana in Windows 10 Mobile before, with little success. It currently serves hundreds of millions of devices, but it’s not as popular on the market as Amazon’s Alexa, Google and Apple’s Siri.