Microsoft’s first Cortana-powered device, the Harman Kardon Invoke, made its debut back in 2017. The device, first available for $199, failed to gain much traction beyond Microsoft fans, and Microsoft ended up cutting $150 off the original price, bringing it down to only $50 at one point.
If you were one of those people who bought an Invoke, there’s some bad news for you. It seems like Microsoft is slowly pulling the plug on the Harman Kardon Invoke (via MSPU).
Invoke owners in the United States are reporting major issues with the speaker, whereby Cortana is unable to control their smart home devices, or even do simple things like creating reminders or lists. One user also reported that Cortana’s integration on Amazon Alexa via the “Alexa, open Cortana” command doesn’t seem to work either.
Some users are even reporting issues with setting up the Invoke, whereby resetting the device simply prevents you from setting it up again. I have had this problem since 2 weeks ago, rendering my Invoke completely useless. I originally thought the issue was due to the fact that I am in the UK (the Invoke isn’t officially available in the UK) but seems like the same issue is affecting some other users in the US, too.
It’s possible these issues are just temporary problems while Microsoft makes significant changes to Cortana in order to transform the personal assistant into more of a productivity assistant.
The other major Cortana-powered device, the Johnson Controls thermostat, recently replaced Cortana with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but in the case of the Invoke, Microsoft or Harman Kardon are yet to communicate what changes users should expect.
At the end of the day, people who have already paid for products like the Invoke shouldn’t be affected at all. The lack of communication from Microsoft here is simply unacceptable, and if you were one of those people who spent $199 on an Invoke, your Invoke might soon turn out to be completely useless.