Microsoft says goodnight to Cortana for iOS and Android

Microsoft has sounded the death knell for Cortana on iOS and Android, by stating that it intends to kill off the app on both mobile operating systems in January. However, there may be hope for iOS and Android uses in some territories, as the support article which announces its demise currently only applies to users in the UK, Canada and Australia.
Cortana assistant
Microsoft’s visual representation of the Cortana personal assistant concept. Photo: Microsoft.

January 31 deadline

However, with the Cortana application disappearing from the UK, Australia, Germany, Mexico, China, Spain, Canada, and India on January 31, it is almost certain that this policy will be extended. While this obviously excludes the United States, it does sound very much as if it is the beginning of the end for the software on the iOS and Android platforms.

Of course, this is far from the end for Cortana as a concept. Microsoft is fully committed to the software within Microsoft productivity applications, as it confirmed in an official statement to The Verge. “Cortana is an integral part of our broader vision to bring the power of conversational computing and productivity to all our platforms and devices,” a spokesman commented.

There has been no timeframe placed on the demise of Cortana in the United States, at least on the iOS and Android applications. All Microsoft has stated is that the software remains supported in America, and no official plans have been announced to cease support on iOS or Android.

Cortana iOS
Cortana is being discontinued on the iOS and Android platforms, as Microsoft changes the way that the software operates. Photo: Microsoft.

Eventual demise

However, considering the official statement from Microsoft, and also the fact that the iOS and Android versions of Cortana are being terminated in so many territories, it would be naive to assume that this won’t happen in the United States as well.

Microsoft has also confirmed that Cortana will disappear from its Android Launcher application on January 31 in the affected markets. While it doesn’t seem that other territories will be affected by this currently, it is quite possible that Microsoft will expand on this decision in the coming weeks.

Cortana was released on Android and iOS in December, 2015. The Google and Apple operating systems have become completely dominant in the mobile marketplace, with Bill Gates recently ruminating on how Microsoft missed the boat in the early days of the mobile market, and now its own Windows Phone is completely obsolete, and indeed discontinued.

Cortana Android
Cortana can also be downloaded to a variety of the smart speaker systems that are available. Photo: Microsoft.

Firmware updates

Users can utilize Cortana in order to configure settings and update firmware for various hardware devices. Microsoft has yet to confirm how owners of devices such as Surface Headphones will continue to gain access to these features once Cortana is discontinued on iOS and Android.

Despite continually redesigning Cortana, Microsoft has fallen behind other personal assistant software developers since its release. In an attempt to rebrand the system, the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, stated that the corporation no longer views Cortana as a direct competitor to Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.

Going forward, Microsoft views Cortana as a more business-focused application, and will attempt to convince corporate clients to adopt the software.

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