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Microsoft to cut Cortana from Android, iOS, Invoke, and more

Invoke Speaker
Invoke Speaker (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is ending support for the Cortana apps on iOS and Android.
  • Microsoft is ending support for Cortana on the Harman Kardon Invoke Speaker.
  • Microsoft is ending support for the current version of Cortana on the original Surface Headphones.
  • Need we go on?

Microsoft announced several cuts coming to Cortana, its digital assistant today, including ending support for third-party Cortana skills, the Cortana apps on iOS and Android, and Cortana support of the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker. These cuts come as part of Microsoft's shift of Cortana towards being a productivity-centered assistant.

Cortana support for the various devices won't be cut off at once. Cortana skills will no longer be supported as of September 7, 2020. In early 2021, Microsoft will stop supporting the Cortana apps on iOS and Android. Harman Kardon Invoke speakers will lose support for Cortana in January 2021.

Microsoft points people toward other features that Cortana has on different platforms. For example, the company highlights the Cortana experience on Windows 10 (opens in new tab). Additionally, Microsoft points to the Cortana integration on Outlook mobile (opens in new tab) and the fact that the Teams mobile app will soon support Cortana voice assistance (opens in new tab).

While the Harman Kardon Invoke will no longer support Cortana, it will still work as a speaker for music. A firmware update will ship to the Harman Kardon in early 2021 that will allow people to use the device as a Bluetooth speaker. According to Microsoft, "The firmware update will be delivered automatically to devices connected to wifi within six months of its release."

As a bit of consolation, Microsoft will send one $50 Microsoft gift card per active Invoke to the U.S.-based Microsoft account used to set up the speaker. To receive that gift card, you'll have to have sent a voice request to Cortana with the device after July 31, 2019 but prior to Microsoft's announcement today. Presumably this is to stop people from grabbing a bunch of unused Invoke devices to earn gift cards.

In addition to removing Cortana support from several devices, Microsoft is removing the previous version of Cortana from the first version of the Surface Headphones in early 2021. Going forward, all versions of the Surface Headphones and the Surface Earbuds will be able to use Cortana through the integration with Outlook Mobile. This integration can read emails and help manage your inbox.

People affected by the Surface Headphones change will receive a $25 Microsoft Store gift card.

"We've spent a lot of time thinking through this transition and understand that these changes may be disruptive to some of our customers," says the company toward the end of its announcement.

Some will point to these changes as Microsoft cutting consumers off. Others will see it as a shift from a consumer-facing Cortana to a digital assistant focused on productivity tasks. In either case, Microsoft seems aware that the move will cause frustration.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

109 Comments
  • Yep, just got the e-mail. This really upsets me. I use my Invokes (yes, I have two) constantly with IFTT. Control my Harmony hub with it for my TV/sound system. Use it for my Hue lights. It works very well.
    Thanks yet again Microsoft for your continuation of abandonware.
  • Agree with everything you are saying here
  • Several Windows Phones and now Invoke. As long as Nadella's in charge, I will never, ever buy another piece of Microsoft hardware.
  • Even if it's sad, I like the new Microsoft. The Microsoft that embraces what's out there instead of always trying to compete with it. Cortana as a personal digital assistant was meaningful in the Windows Phone days, but it's not anymore. Sounds like a good move.
  • "New" Microsoft? It's a shell of its former self. It can't competre anymore, and now follows instead of leading. It now cancels everything.
  • Shell of it former self? What a joke. Microsoft is bigger than it has been since the 90s. It isn't the gadget company Balmer wanted it to be, but it is still a consumer company unless you think corporate execs are the ones buying Xbox.
  • Yea, Xbox is their bread and butter. MS Consoles will last until they can effectively (profitably) move gamers to the cloud. Their consoles will slowly morph to thin clients until it becomes irrelevant whose logo is on them. There will still be PC gaming, but MS is selling you those boxes today.
  • Why not compete? They proved they could and produced superior tech. Then they let it languish while Apple and Google exceeded it. Now they look poised to eliminate live tiles on Windows--their defining and most useful element! We are witnessing the waning days of Microsoft as they try to mimic, rather than define.
  • As much as I like(d) live tiles on my Windows phones, many of them, they are virtually irrelevant on desktops/laptops. They are only there when you pop up the Start Menu, unless you have it set to tablet mode. Bet those are few and far between. The tile functionality even there is a shadow of its former self. Updates lag significantly, are rarely salient, and they have lost the deep linking that was introduced in Windows Phone. That was where a news article showed on a live tile and News opened to that article when you tapped on it. Calendar opened to the appointment when it was displayed and you tapped it. Now, with few exceptions it is relatively random displays, generally related to the app. Zero effort has been expended on Live Tiles since WPs demise, beyond color schemes.
  • Of course it's not sad if you don't care about this. If you don't care why should it matter. For most people who say they don't care about something usually it's because it's not affecting them. They only care when something affects them. It's a shortsighted way to look at things. But I find that lot of people have been raised that way. What a sorry state affairs of a world we live in these days.
  • I got a Invoke just a months ago 😒
  • An excellent speaker--really fills a room with quality sound. Too bad.
  • Good lord, why? Great speaker, and had some promise, two years ago.
  • Couldn't Harman switch it to another assistant, like Alexa?
  • That's what I don't understand. I guess from a technical standpoint it should be possible with an update, I wonder if it's more of a licensing issue between Harman and Amazon?
  • I don't think it is licensing issue. Amazon has a developer program which basically allows anyone to put Alexa on any device.
  • Yes and you can say Hey Cortana let me talk to Alexa and then use Alexa. It would be nice if they enabled that so the device isn't worthless
  • Even if it was a licensing issue, it's not impossible to work around. Microsoft worked a deal with Spotify when they cut off those of us using Groove Music. They steered the Mixer group to Facebook whatever it is. Why can't they work a deal with Amazon? It would be a win-win situation. Microsoft angers fewer people because at least the devices could be used for something, even if not what they were purchased for, and Amazon gets new smart speaker customers. Who loses?
  • I thought when this finally happened they would at least put Alexa or Google on it. Would have been nice. Probably has something to do with licensing.
  • You really think they care? They abandoned this device years ago. Had fire sales. They could have integrated other AIs back then. In fact they did on other similar products of theirs. Incidentally, Harmon Kardon is a subsidiary of Samsung. Harmon Kardon owns JBL which already makes Google AI speakers.
  • They gain absolutely nothing for doing a ton of work to update the Invoke with a new assistant. It is an easy choice to make.
  • Just got the email. While disappointing, it was also kind of expected. Strange how the Invoke held on longer than Windows did! Nonetheless, the writing was on the wall. At this point, the only things I use my Invoke... the only thing I use any of my smart speakers for is checking the weather and turning the lights on and off. I'll take your 50 bucks and buy... something. I'd like to put that money towards hardware, I'm just not sure what.
  • Gift card for US only. Cheers, Microsoft.
  • What's the issue? Just create a US Account, redeem it there and buy digital goods to make use of the credit. In my case, the Swiss Xbox Store keeps selling digital games at like like a 133% price compared to the US Store so I buy them on the US Store via US based Digital Gift Cards ( since I do not have a working US Credit Card "anymore" ) aquired on Amazon.com and redeem then in on the US Xbox Store. I used to buy my first Surface PRO ( the 1st Gen! ) via the US Microsoft Store and had it shipped to Switzerland with the help of a MS Customer Service Rep who somehow managed to get my Swiss Credit Card accepted at the time which is probably the reason why I had a US based Account to begin with but I'd like to wager that there's nothing hindering you in registering an US Account and feed it with Gift Cards. The Xbox doesn't care which account you play your bought games with - It play either Swiss or US ones regardless of which account I'm on only requiring the use of the "proper" location to be set when redeeming/buying them.
  • This is a continuation of MS abandoning great technologies and their most fervent customers. I use four Harman-Kardon speakers, which control my Hue lights, provide Spotify access, and respond to frequent lesser internet requests. The tower speakers are among the best I've even heard and fill a room with sound! They previously controlled my Glas thermometer, but that went by the wayside months ago as Microsoft abandoned their partners, then by extension their customers ... AGAIN! I will not invest in Microsoft again. NEVER!. This from a customer who proudly carried and touted the strengths of Windows phone, watch, and their related ecosystem. I'm done as MS appears--again--to hand the business to Google. With the upgrade to Windows which is reportedly going to abandon live tiles on my PC--the major advantage over iOS--why bother or trust Redmond again. At least I will be able to trust that the fruit guys will and their ecosystem will be there next year! So long Microsoft. Review my record and you'll see I've spent a lot of $$ and owned every Surface product. . I've been patiently since you killed Windows phone, waiting with my Note 8 for the release of the Andromeda phone; it goes without saying I will not now purchase the Duo because Microsoft will simply drop it in a few months. See 'ya! If you can lose one as faithful and I, you will see nothing but failure in the future.
  • Man, you really drank the kool aid, didn't you? Really nothing new here, all this was predicted when "Mr Retrenchment" took over, now its all coming together.....
  • Yup. Didn't see it coming. Had the faith of the righteous. Screwed. Leaving.
  • By the time Nadella took over Cortana was behind Alexa and Google. Being a third has never worked out well for Microsoft. This is the correct choice I think ... even though I am bummed my speaker will no longer work soon
  • "Review my record and you'll see I've spent a lot of $$" No, you didn't. You spent a few thousands. Microsoft only cares about customers who spend a few millions.
  • With the Surface Duo, I had hoped that consumer Cortana would stick around. It's safe to say that that's not happening now.
  • Microsoft hasn't figured out that it's about the ecosystem now. While MS has excellent tech and cloud services superior to Apple, the don't support their own ecosystem. I've been waiting patiently for Andromeda/Duo, but now I can't trust they won't cancel it within a year. Case closed. Fruit bound.
  • "Microsoft hasn't figured out that it's about the ecosystem now." Actually, they understand that very well. Their ecosystem is for businesses. Period. Windows, Servers, Office, Teams, SQL Servers, Outlook, Azure. That is a great BUSINESS ecosystem. No one else has ANYTHING like it. Its not for you. Or for me. Or anyone else reading this. Get used to it.
  • You may have done so intentionally, but don't forget Xbox. Then again, it may have just been a Freudian slip. Which only means that Microsoft will soon discard of that platform too.
  • Really late to this party but I just discovered this was happening. This comment and others like it frustrate me to no end. Business people are CONSUMERS too! When I get done at work, I want to go home at night and use products that are compatible with what I have at home too. I want my business phone to be my personal phone too. I want commands I use for products at work to also work with my car and my home. I want my business devices to talk and be compatible with my consumer devices. I don't want to learn and support two ecosystems a personal and a business! Microsoft is perfectly positioned to do this, yet their constant failure to finish anything consumer is so sad it's become laughable. Every consumer product they have created was their market to lose and they have done so spectacularly over and over again. Everyt ime they pull the plug they talk down to us like we're complete morons, "To improve our services to make them the best ever and help you better we're removing functionality." We see right through that Microsoft! I'm done. I've been burned for the last time with Microsoft and won't be back ever.
  • Guess this was coming but soooo bad. I have four of these and my whole family uses them for controlling the house, playing music, checking weather, etc. I different configurations all controlled through the Invoke, will have to redo some of that.. YIKES...
  • More and more upset about this, may make me move to Google :(
  • The good news, is if you could do it with the Invoke, you can surely do it with either Google or Echo appliances, at a much cheaper price. You'll even get some new features, and have the option of getting some with video displays. I would say if you are rocking Android phones, look at Google assistants. Don't assume they are necessarily better though. If you have iPhones, look at Echo first. Ignore HomePods, unless sound is you primary concern (and you have iThings).
  • Who didn't see this coming? Well, the great thing is that I am hopefully going to get $50, which is more than I paid for the device on the eBay sale. 😜
  • "While the Harman Kardon Invoke will no longer support Cortana, it will still work as a speaker for music. " That's all I've ever used mine for. "A firmware update will ship to the Harman Kardon in early 2021 that will allow people to use the device as a Bluetooth speaker." Lol, not needed. See above. "According to Microsoft, "The firmware update will be delivered automatically to devices connected to wifi within six months of its release." Then mine is safe, since it has never had an internet connection. AGAIN, why is anyone here surprised by this? MICROSOFT IS NOT A CONSUMER COMPANY.
  • Then you should probably just let the firmware update happen since you are only using it as a Bluetooth speaker anyway.
  • I've only used mine for music as well. What I don't get is the notion of a firmware update for Bluetooth. I have one Invoke that I primarily use with Bluetooth only. I will miss the capabilities to say "Cortana play ... song.". Now I'll have to go to my physical hardware to select music to play. I do that anyway at times but I like having both options.
  • I'm guessing that it will be a firmware update the extricate Cortana from the device, not to enable BT (which I also use). Microsoft has come up with other ways of transitioning people away from their services. From Mixer to Facebook streaming, from Groove Music to Spotify, for example. Why not have a firmware update that will give birth to Alexa on the Invoke?
  • I'm wondering the same. Why not update it to work with other voice assistants?
  • I could have spent a lot less money on a Bluetooth speaker. What good is a store gift card if the products I can spend it on have no guarantee of keeping the functionality they had at purchase?
  • I spent $40 on mine, when they were dumped eBay a couple years ago. How much less do you want to spend?
  • Got my second one for $25 at Best Buy. I got the first one free on the Beta program. Was really excited about it at first, until it became clear neither HK nor MS was really invested in it. They do make stellar speakers though. I will miss tapping her on the head and getting some random response.
  • With MS forcing us to use other ecosystems why would they think we won't switch our work environment. All of my coworkers who have apple products for personal use are getting macs at work. I definitely miss the original cortana, time to leave, location based reminders, flight info etc. Google never worked for me in this manner.
  • Google Now did all that stuff before Cortana. Quite sure Google Assistant still does it.
  • It would be great if they would now let apps on Windows to use Cortana voice. They've locked it for Cortana and at this point it is more useful as a voice than as an assistant. But looking at Microsoft Edge that tries to win the consumers by having its own voices that are not provided to other developers (Google gives free access to similar online voices to all developers as part of Android), it is clear that Microsoft misses some very basics of understanding how things work...
  • How is Cortana so much different from what she does now and increasing the productivity with 365? Why can’t she still do both or all of it, is it 2 different programs? This really ticks me off! So many things that I have bought and invested in and they drop and stop supporting. I’m actually surprised they stuck with surface this long.
  • Exactly how much of a loss is it for Microsoft to support what it already does? It is pretty frustrating to me as a user of 3 invokes that this happened. I wish they would open source it instead so people could at least mess about with it themselves.
  • Disappointing but not surprising. I use my Invokes for a "Skype Home Phone". I actually pay for a Skype Number. They were nice for managing MS To Do Tasks, Lists, and Reminders, checking email, as well as media streaming and smarthome control. A month ago or so I noticed incoming Skype calls ceased and Reminders stopped months ago. So, with Cortana's shift to "productivity" and Invoke dead, my need of MS productivity offerings and services is reduced (guess I'll cancel the skype number now). I've been a stupid fan of MS tech for a long time and have spent money on their vision over the years, all of it (other than the Surface Pros) are now in the Tech Hall of Fame for Failed Consumer Devices. I've been trying to "change my ways" (the first part is to admit your have a problem, you know). I was enthusiastic about the Surface Duo as my overdue Samsung S8 replacement (I mean at least it's Android so MS's abandonment will still leave functionality, right?). So I'll use this as the final nail in the well-nailed-shut coffin to only use MS for my PC needs.
  • 100% agree, except for the Duo part. That thing won't survive for long. I doubt the Neo will ever see the light of day, because the Windows 10X project is a complete mess.
  • Agreed, my enthusiasm for the Duo has cooled.
  • Have any Echo devices? You can use Skype on them as well. Even Skype video on the Shows. Not sure if the number works, but I imagine so. Couldn't hurt to try.
  • My Invoke's ability to sync with todo died a couple weeks ago.
  • I use my Invoke for checking emails, setting reminders, adding to ToDo, setting cooking timers, weather forecasts, checking the time, playing Spotify, finding out about local business hours, planning routes, getting general knowledge and listening to a silly fact or joke now and then. I hate Google and don't want to fall into the Amazon wasteland. I'm going to be lost. I'll miss you Cortana.
  • I knew this was coming since Microsoft is systematically eliminating every consumer product and service from its portfolio (and in effect ripping those products out of the hands of customers who already paid for them), but I'm still angry. Cortana is now reduced to nothing more than a renamed Clippy, and I now have two useless speakers in my house. Just like my useless smartwatch, my useless phone, my useless Kinect, and countless other products I paid for. I don't know how a small handful of disparate Office 365 features qualifies as a digital assistant, but I guarantee they won't be used because they have no use case. Meanwhile, Windows has been stripped of basic functionality and looks to be well on its way to becoming extinct on consumer devices--and knowing Satya Nadella, that's probably the goal. I think this is going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back for me. After years of completely adopting the Microsoft ecosystem, I'm jumping ship. Actually, a more accurate metaphor would be that this ship has been completely dismantled at sea with people on board because the captain decided the boat was worth more as scrap metal than the passengers were paying, so now I guess I'll swim to the nearest boat, no matter how terrible, because I have to.
  • Damn. I still use my invoke for everything. Music, reminders, shopping lists. Kids use it for research during homework.
  • Doing this makes it hard to back the duo. I may be one of the only people that used the Skype free offer with it.
  • "we’re offering eligible customers the opportunity to receive a $50.00 Microsoft gift card* per active Invoke" … So that means $50 X the number of active Invokes, right?
  • Why I'm not surprised, last year Windows Central was still talking that Cortana is not dead and that MS is just changing how it works. I saw it's dead the moment Windows Mobile was dead and how limited the Countries and languages support remained. soon it will be dead in Windows 10 itself, because as of now its user base is very limited and MS is not doing anything to expand it. just like what they did for many other products.
  • On one hand I think this is a mistake. All handing the voice market to Google and Amazon does is consolidate their power. On the other hand my personal experience of Cortana since the beginning has been dismal. The Bing search on Windows Phone 8 was lightning fast; Cortana on 8.1 was slooooow. When the Xbox One launched with voice commands everything was done console-side so your 'xbox, pause' was done instantly. Cortana had to send things server-side which took and good 3-4 seconds at which point I've picked up the remote.
  • Another dump taken on their customers by MS. Quite frustrating. I have 4 of these and use them everyday especially with work and school from home. Add it to the list of dead products from MS. To bad they won't easily fit in a drawer like my 5 windows phones and 2 bands that have been abandoned. Just in time for the Duo to be released, great way to keep your customers confident in making that purchase.
  • The irony I have a invoke but never actually set it up guess I won't be getting that $50 gift card
  • I will give you $20 for the speaker.
  • Wait..does this mean the spotify access (connect) will be discontinued with this?
  • yes. it will only be a Bluetooth speaker. However, if you connect it to your PC or Smartphone, then it will play music via Spotify.
  • I'd like to know WHEN the connection to Spotify on my HK Invokes will be removed. Will that happen in September or will it be January 2021?
  • I just got my email for my Invoke, but haven't received anything for my Surface headphones, yet. $50 gift card? I feel like most people with an Invoke will want to replace it with another smart speaker, but you can't get Echo or Google smart speakers through the Microsoft Store. So, bummed about that.
  • Sell the gift card on eBay for $45.
  • We called all it except fanboys. We knew this thing would fail.
  • You are right, we new it would fail but not because the tech was faulty or had no promise. It failed because Microsoft like it has in the past was not committed or marketed its product like they should have. It like they leave things half done or do things halfway. If it is not an instant success they typically abandone the project. It is so hard to watch Microsoft in the consumer market.
  • At this stage it's tempting to consider that anyone buying any hardware from MS, including Duo, have lost their minds. Mark my words - IT WILL BE CANCELLED - just like Windows Phone and the wasteland of MS's abandoned projects because of MS's fickle mindedness and complete lack of confidence and courage at fighting the war on two front, both Enterprise and Consumer. Cloud and (by extension) AI's effectiveness is only as good as its ability to gather information in the first place and this is another example of MS ceding its ability to do just that with yet another retreat. Retreat or abandon position enough and people's confidence in everything you do will be eroded as you more and more effectively concede defeat. Repeat it enough and that is exactly how you will be perceived from thereon. Almost everyone in Enterprise is also a Consumer. Not every Consumer is also in enterprise - very key difference.
  • After many years of being disappointed in MS abandoning consumerware, I've finally learned not to think anything that MS puts out for the consumers as long lasting. And if you say Windows and Office have been here forever, that's because it's also used in business. So remember, if a large portion of businesses are not using a particular MS device or software, then it will go away sooner or later. And yes, this includes XBox, which has surprised me in lasting this long, but I still expect MS to abandon it at anytime. Also I expect their movies and music will go away soon, so I hope you have joined Movies Anywhere and migrated your movies to other, non-MS platforms. Bottom line, do not build anything you want to last, based on consumer-focused, MS hardware or software. It will only last a few years or less, definitely won't last a decade (again, surprised by xbox)
  • If you are still using Microsoft services today, you weren't paying attention. It has been obvious since Gmail was released that Microsoft doesn't understand consumer products and WP7 made it obvious they never will. It has been time to move on for several years now.
  • I have 4 Invokes. Sometimes I say, "Cortana, what time is it" or "Cortana play AM such and such." or "Cortana set an alarm for 5 minutes". I never say "Cortana remind me to call bob tomorrow at noon". While I like the quality of the sound from the invoke, it spends 90% of its life as a speaker playing music from Spotify or groove that I can and usually control from the computer I am using. But if I close my PC Cortana keeps playing. It does have a mind that works without being directed by your PC of a smartphone. The reality is the PC ecosystem is distinctly different than the smartphone ecosystem. they don't really overlap that much. Sure you can share files and email accounts. But PC users don't really speak while they work, whereas smartphone users do. Consumers don't really produce. They mostly consume. Hence the reason for Cortana as a productivity assistant never really played out. Great tech and was good when it worked on my windows phone while I was driving. But that was years ago and my android phone seems pretty dumb as compared to a Cortana powered Windows phone. But I don't really need my phone to be productive while I am driving.
  • Here's what I don't get. It has a WiFi antennae in it. Why not do a solid and get AirPlay support on there so we can use it as a AirPlay speaker. OR, opensource the code so someone can develop it and add it through a firmware update? $50 at the Microsoft Store is stupid. Either the purchase is in the hundreds of dollars, or I have to pay full price for something that can be found cheaper at Best Buy or even Amazon.
  • This is a clear and present danger with this model in regards to the Invoke. It used to be you buy a product and it was yours forever and it worked until it broke which in some cases it never broke. I have stuff from the '60s & '70s that still works. something that must be considered now, almost nothing you buy will still work in ten years if it lasts that long.
  • I read a good article about services and equipment last year. It basically stated what you're pointing out. That companies can cancel perfectly good working products to introduce new ones and or just abandoned a current product leaving the consumer with a bricked device. That just doesn't seem right. I'm waiting for my first generation SONOS stop getting support. It will just be a beautiful piece of equipment sitting around the house collecting dust. Just like my Invoke.
  • Invoke uses software that is stored on the web to provide the services you think are a mechanical function of the device. The Invoke is simply a mechanism to access the cloud-based tech that runs Cortana. If MSFT is closing down Cortana in the cloud, then how do you expect them to allow the Invoke to run Cortana?
  • sadly it's a shame I lost those skills I had with WP.
  • I won an Invoke from a Microsoft Rewards contest, and my kids love using it to ask Cortana to play music. But now they're going to cancel that feature and give me a $50 gift card? They're essentially paying me $50 for a prize they gave me lol When they canceled the Band, I was able to bring it into the local MS store after it broke and the gave me $150. What are they going to pay me to use next? I wonder how this will affect the Glas thermostat?
  • I got a refund for all the books I bought on the Microsoft store when they closed that business. Clearly MSFT is recognizing they failed to deliver and are providing refunds to customers. How many companies would do this?
  • wow thats impressive
  • I got my Invoke at a Microsoft Christmas party for area developer user groups, so I'm in the same boat. I hadn't thought about returning it, but now that there are no more Microsoft Stores...... 🙄
  • Well well, what a shock! So now my Invoke speaker will no longer function properly. Yet another of the many examples of "Microsoft giveth... and Microsoft Taketh away!"
  • So much potential just... wasted.
  • I just want to know if I can continue to stream Spotify to it from my Phone or PC. i.e. Spotify Connect. Any one know?
  • That's what I'm wondering as well. I have two Invokes. Both are set up to use Spotify. I love being able to use Spotify on my Invokes with Cortana. But now I'm wondering if I'll lose even that on September 7?
  • This is what my Invoke gets used for the most - Spotify. This is rather disappointing.
  • Ditto. I use it to stream spotify, and my local NPR station on nearly a daily basis. That and it comes in pretty handy as a timer and reminder.
  • I gotta tell you. I have been forced to use Google Assistant since Cortana was killed for Android phones. And surprisingly it isn't really much better than Cortana was. Even Cortana the Outside US version I had been using forever. So I don't think killing her more and more is a good idea. I think it would have been better to keep her as she was, and then expand her Office self anyway.
  • I have been hesitant to embrace either the Google or Alexa systems, because I'm so entrenched in Microsoft's ecosystem (or what is left of it), and I haven't had the time to look at them to decide which would be best for me. Windows computers, Outlook email and calendar, Android phone and watch, ecobee (with Alexa) thermostat.... I'm a mess. 😒
  • I use Microsoft for everything too. But with Alexa, it appears I can access Microsoft To-Do and my calendar from some earlier research I have done. I am trying to get ahead of this so I am ready
  • Sorry to say, but I will be looking to replace my Invokes (4), which everyone in my house used with Google's. It was perfect for what we used it for. Like everyone else is saying, why not just leave this version alone for those of us who use it. In fact, MicroSoft should give us a Visa gift card instead of a MicroSoft gift card. Since they did so bad marketing this, I hate to say it but once I make the switch to Alexa, it will probably be better. It says that Services will be discontinued in September but the Invoke will work till January. What does that mean? What will work on the Invoke then?
  • Another stab in the back by Microsoft...!
  • What if the speaker is converted from a cortana smart speaker to one that connects to alexa? Can they just do a firmware update to switch platforms?
  • That or Google Assistant would be awesome. At least it will have a bluetooth option, though I think they should release that now, instead of waiting.
  • Amazon Flex is on sale for $10 currently. It will turn any Bluetooth speaker into alexa.
  • Seriously, why is Nadella still in charge? Yeah, they're focused on enterprise customers, and they make a ton of money on that, blah blah blah. That does not mean that they should be crapping on their consumer segments over and over again. "Hey! Here's this awesome thing, it's the future, everybody start using it!" And then within a year or so, "Hey! Remember that thing we came out with that's awesome? Well, we lost interest in it, too bad, so sad!". I'm honestly waiting for the shoe to drop on Xbox. Yeah, doesn't make sense, but hey, this is Microsoft, so nothing makes sense.
  • "Hey! Remember that thing we came out with that's awesome? Well, we lost interest in it, too bad, so sad!" Except that is not AT ALL what happened. It was "Hey! Remember that thing we came out with that we thought was awesome? Well, no one bought it. We lost a billion dollars on it. Time to dump it.” That’s how successful businesses operate. They kill failed products. They concentrate on successful products. Feel free to start your own business and do it the other way around. Everything Microsoft does makes sense, when you realize Microsoft is a successful business.
  • >they're focused on enterprise customers, and they make a ton of money on that, blah blah blah Basically answered your own question there
  • If you're going to look at consumerism from the linear perspective of only the consumer then I can see the major outcry, but you have to look at it from both sides. There's a business, consumer relationship that always needs to be look at. If you're the owner of a business and you have a loyal group of customers would you continue to serve things that only they liked if no one else was buying your product and your business was loosing revenue? You're always going to have to balance that scale of consumer loyalty and business profit. MSFT has always been an enterprise first company, so it's no surprise to me that they will always gravitate in that direction. Another thing to consider is right now it's hunting season for "big tech" companies. Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon have all made appearances on Capitol Hill regarding their practices. The one company that wasn't there was MSFT. Why do you think that was? MSFT is walking a tightrope regarding how the government looks at tech firms. They've remained largely in the good graces, while others have fallen under scrutiny. What applications and services does the government use the most? MSFT. From Office 360, to Teams, the government is heavily embedded in the MSFT ecosystem. There is far more of an investment and return in investment from the government community than the commercial community. MSFT is a huge company that is trying to sustain and expand growth, so I would never completely expect MSFT to sell out for a consumer centric product. I've owned Windows phones from the Lumia 920 to the 950XL, I've owned a Zune HD, and currently use multiple Surface Pro's, an Xbox One and One S, and an Invoke. While the news in disappointing, it's not surprising and I don't see how bashing MSFT is adequate or necessary. Furthermore, MSFT doesn't care..lol. I would just recommend doing your research, and knowing the company who's products your using. This isn't the first time MSFT has done this, and won't be the last. I'm surprised they've supported Bing this long yet it's my de facto search engine. I know at some point that will probably end. You