How it rolls when Cortana goes


My wife and I had been Windowsphone users for years. When Windowsphone spiralled into terminal decline we had to change. Initially we both went Android with Nokia devices and used Microsoft Launcher and re-mapped the home key for Cortana. For a variety of reasons I picked up and iPhone 8 Plus recently but she stuck with Android.

News that Cortana is going away left me with choices. Rather than wait for Microsoft to “disappear” the app I removed it from the iphone. Siri is more of a friend now but has limitations for dealing with Microsoft services. My wife faced a choice too. After a chat Cortana disappeared. She also used some Cortana capabilities in the launcher too. Realising this was now pointless the Microsoft launcher was removed. So now the phone is getting very standard Google. She has realised that she can talk to the Google Assistant now.

Of course this is the point about ecosystems. It might well be that one product or service isn’t making a profit. Maybe you can’t make some things pay. However, when companies withdraw products and services the ecosystem looses ubiquity.

It doesn’t really matter to Microsoft because we are not core customers. My workplace is but we are not.

Comments (7)

7 responses to “How it rolls when Cortana goes”

  1. jumpingjackflash5

    Yes, the whole ecosystem matters. Microsoft used to know this in the past, now I am not sure if they do ....

    • willc

      In reply to jumpingjackflash5:

      They know, they just don't care.

      • gregsedwards

        In reply to willc:

        Not so sure that "they don't care," but perhaps they're just being practical. We can sit debate for hours how they got here with Cortana, but regardless, this is where Cortana is right now... It's not a competitor to the likes of Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri. Few people even use it on Windows. And to continue promoting it as such is getting them nowhere.

        Unless Apple makes some serious policy changes, Cortana is never going to replace Siri on their platforms. I run Cortana on my iPhone, but I'll admit it's a lot more trouble to manually launch and use Cortana than just to use the built-in assistant.

        Alexa is an entire platform built around, well...Alexa, so don't expect people to bother installing Cortana as a skill just to tell Alexa to tell Cortana to do stuff that Alexa can already basically do. That's just ridiculous. Amazon has way more leverage there.

        The situation is presumably better on Android, where you can actually change out the Google Assistant with your own alternative (more or less), but even that is problematic, as the Google Assistant is quickly getting deep integration in some significant ways, so even if you do swap it out, unless you're going to completely rewrite the shell, it's going to be a comparatively flat experience.

        The tiny market share of Cortana in its present form (i.e., a dedicated app) doesn't justify maintaining the status quo. I don't think anyone at Microsoft is sitting there thinking, "screw you, consumers," but they gotta know when it no longer makes sense to keep this thing artificially alive to support a minuscule fan base. My expectation/hope is they'll find better success moving Cortana's functionality into their popular apps/services and then exposing it in conjunction with platform-specific assistants. Maybe they'll be in a better position once Windows 10X rolls out...maybe they're planning a completely skinned version of Android for the Neo, and they'll be able to leverage Cortana there. Who knows?

        • Vladimir Carli

          In reply to gregsedwards:

          I think Cortana died together with Windows phone. I really don’t see how it could have survived without it’s own phone. It may come back with surface neo if Microsoft pushes in that direction, but I wonder if they really want to

          • anoldamigauser

            In reply to Vladimir:

            Agreed, the death of Windows Mobile was the end of Cortana as a personal assistant. It is just not that natural to talk to a computer.

            Since Neo will be running Android, I do not think that they will bring Cortana back for that. The Duo will be fairly mobile, and will run Windows 10X, but that is such a niche device, that I doubt they will bring Cortana back for that either.

    • jules_wombat

      In reply to jumpingjackflash5:

      Microsoft is a Cloud and Enterprise centric business. That is their future, and is driving them towards occasionally being the most valuable company. Cortana, Windows Phone and the consumer market is irrelevant to them being financially very successful. Just suck it up.

  2. minke

    Or, you can just skip the assistants and use RI (Real Intelligence) instead of AI to get stuff done! Seriously, I personally find the various assistants useless. In the time it takes my wife to get Siri to dial a phone number I have already made the call. Same with directions and a host of other things assistants are supposed to be used for. I really don't find them helpful or time saving.