What you need to know
- Microsoft officially cut support for Cortana on Windows 11.
- The change shipped in an update for Windows Insiders in the Dev and Canary channels recently and is now making its way to general users.
- The company is set to cut support for the digital assistant across Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams display, and Microsoft Teams Rooms this fall, though it will remain available for Outlook mobile users.
UPDATED August 11, 2023, at 9:50 AM ET: Microsoft has officially cut support for the Cortana app in Windows 11. If you try to access the app right now, you'll be notified that the app has been deprecated and that you can no longer access it alongside a link that will direct you to a support document highlighting the change. The change seems to be imminent, as none of my colleagues can access the assistant anymore.
Microsoft has also mapped out its plans to cut support for the digital assistant across Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams Display, and Microsoft Teams Rooms, later this fall. Interestingly, the assistant will remain available for Outlook mobile users.
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In June, Microsoft announced its plans to cut support for Cortana on Windows 10 and Windows 11. The company was vague about this timeline, as it only indicated that it would happen during the fall. Microsoft later noted that the change would happen in August, though it didn't provide a specific date.
But now, two months after the announcement, Microsoft is officially pulling the plug on Cortana, as spotted by the folks over at XDA Developers. The change comes via a new update in the Microsoft Store and is exclusive to Insiders in the Dev and Canary channels.
As such, Cortana might not be deprecated for everyone immediately. However, the update will gradually roll out to everyone. However, once the update is available, you'll be welcomed by the following message: Cortana in Windows as a standalone app is deprecated.
The message will also be accompanied by a Learn More button, redirecting you to Microsoft's support page, where you can get all the information you require about this change and how it will impact you.
It's worth noting that Microsoft is only deprecating Cortana on Windows. That said, you can still continue leveraging its capabilities across Outlook mobile, Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams display, and Microsoft Teams Rooms. Unless Microsoft decides to cut support for these versions, too.
Windows Copilot subs in for Cortana
Microsoft has been strategic in how it's handled the end of support for Cortana. Windows 11, version 23H2, is set to launch in the next couple of months, perhaps in September. If this is the case, Windows Copilot, Windows 11's AI assistant, could take Cortana's place and provide users with a superior experience.
It's unclear if Microsoft will still feature Cortana while releasing Windows 11, version 23H2, but it's highly unlikely. As you might already know, Microsoft is currently testing the feature among Windows Insiders.
Insiders in the Dev Channel have had access to the tool since last month, and we saw the company expand its availability to the Beta Channel recently. Keeping this in mind, the tool is likely to hit broad availability soon and replace Cortana.
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Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.