Microsoft discontinues current Cortana integration with Dynamics 365 (Updated)

In a short note posted to its developer site, first spotted by MSDynamicsWorld.com (via ZDNet), Microsoft has announced the discontinuation of the current Cortana preview integration with Dynamics 365. The terse statement is short on details, but it does confirm that Cortana will no longer surface information linked to Dynamics accounts.

From Microsoft:

After carefully consideration, we've decided to discontinue the Cortana integration preview feature. Dynamics 365 will no longer appear in Cortana's notebook, and Cortana will no longer prompt users with relevant information about sales activities, accounts, opportunities, and meetings.

Prior to its discontinuation, Cortana integration was available with Dynamics 365 Online versions 8.x and 9.x, as well as Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update. Dynamics CRM first appeared as an option under Cortana's "Connected Accounts" section in early 2016.

As for why Microsoft is scrapping the integration, the company hasn't yet provided an explanation. However, as ZDNet points out, Microsoft was still promoting the integration as a differentiator as late as May 2017.

The move comes as Microsoft is redoubling its efforts to bring more AI smarts to other parts of its portfolio, including Office and Cortana. At a December event, the company detailed new AI features headed to Office apps like Excel and Word, as well as Cortana enhancements and integrations with Outlook. Given Microsoft's moves to spread Cortana smarts to other parts of its portfolio, the removal of Dynamics 365 integration sticks out.

Updated January 8, 2018: Microsoft has now updated its post, renaming it to "Work continues on Dynamics 365 digital assistant experiences" while providing reassurance that it is working on a "new long term intelligent solution experience." You can read the updated statement below:

We are working to deliver a robust and scalable digital assistant experience across all of our Dynamics 365 offerings. This includes natural language integration for customers and partners across multiple channels including Cortana. To that end, we are discontinuing the current Cortana integration preview feature that was made available for Dynamics 365 and we are focusing on building a new long term intelligent solution experience, which will include Cortana digital assistant integration.