Cortana bot says 'goodbye' to Skype, but you'll still get suggested replies

If you regularly chatted up the Cortana bot in Skype, you'll have to bid farewell. Microsoft has disabled the bot, while simultaneously promoting Skype's integration with Amazon's Alexa, which debuted for Echo speakers last fall (opens in new tab).

The Cortana bot would allow you to query Microsoft's digital assistant for basic requests, as well as add things to your calendar and more. As of now, messaging the bot through an existing chat thread results in no response. As pointed out by Florian B on Twitter (via Tech Radar) Microsoft has also started alerting Skype users that the Cortana bot is "no longer supported in Skype." The notification says that existing conversations will remain available until April 30.

Cortana will remain as a part of Skype in a way, however. You can still enable Cortana suggestions in Skype's settings, which will use a bit of AI smarts to give you suggested replies in your chat threads.

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The Cortana bot's disappearance coincides with what appears to be the retreat of bots across Skype altogether. Since being updated to the "new" Skype, the bot directory has disappeared from the app. Likewise, other bots, such as Skyscanner and Microsoft's Project Murphy, appear to be out of the picture as well.

As the Cortana bot leaves Skype, Microsoft has also sent out a notification drawing attention to the service's integration with Amazon's Alexa, which allows you to make Skype calls on Echo devices. The company is currently running a promotion that will give you 200 free calling minutes in Skype for linking your Amazon and Microsoft accounts.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Glad the suggested replies remain as I use them a lot.
  • Never found any of the bots useful. For all the press they got a while back, they didn't seem to advance beyond just simple canned responses to only a few key words.
  • The bots were not that enjoyable to use
  • RIP Cortana. Didn't last very long.
  • I think Microsoft is phasing out Cortana completely. It has been months since it was last working properly on my PC or my laptop. Cortana and search have already been split up and the only place it seems to still function is in Edge where it really is not needed. Sad to see another decent idea go down the drain with little to no notice.
  • I wish i could get rid of it completely. Never used it but stuck with it wasting resources....
  • Cortana will die a slow, gradual, but inevitable death. There is no world where an assistant works without a mobile device. Too bad Microsoft didn't have the decency to just announce her death in an official press statement and get it over with quickly.
  • Cortana is far from dead its just taking a backstage role. MS has actually done a lot to integrate Cortana into a lot of its services as a backend AI service recently. It may not be user facing as much as a digital assistant but it is very much alive as a backend AI service. The whole bot thing was a cool concept where you could have one interaction to engage multiple bots but that seems to have been a fad.
  • Digital assistants so far have been incredibly lacklustre. So this doesn't surprise me in the slightest.
  • OMG CORTANAZ DEA--- oh, looks like some twerps already beat me to it. And they were serious. Well, here's an idea for Skype: Can we have something other than the four standard stock photos they've been using in all their promotional materials for years and years? Those people are probably all grandmothers now. Doesn't Microsoft own a stock photography company?
  • It always was like: "OK, here is our assistant, we don't care if you will use it or not. And we will release her in just a few languages even though we are global company, block her for the rest of the world and will make one small update a year, mostly minor UI changes" Is this the way to a success? Where was even some effort?