Microsoft is Killing Cortana on Mobile, Invoke, and Surface Headphones

Posted on July 31, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface, Music + Videos, Smart Home, Windows 10 with 64 Comments

Too Little Too Late, Microsoft Voices Support for Cortana

A Microsoft support document reveals that the firm will end support for Cortana on mobile, the Invoke smart speaker, and Surface Headphones.

“As we shift [Cortana] toward a transformational AI-powered assistant experience in Microsoft 365, we need to adjust our focus areas of innovation and development to give our customers assistance where they need it most,” the support document explains. “As a result, we are making changes to some U.S. consumer-centric features and functionalities with lower usage.”

Here’s where Microsoft is killing Cortana.

Third-party Cortana skills. Microsoft is ending all support for third-party Cortana skills on September 7.

Android and iOS. The Cortana mobile app for Android and iOS will no longer be supported starting in early 2021. “You can now manage your calendar and email, join meetings, and do so much more via our new productivity-focused experiences, like the Cortana Windows 10 experience, Cortana integration in Outlook mobile, and soon Cortana voice assistance in the Teams mobile app,” Microsoft notes.

Harmon Kardon Invoke smart speaker. Microsoft will end support for Cortana service integration in the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker in January 2021. “We know that most of our customers primarily use the Invoke to play music because of its premium quality sound,” the firm says. “To make sure you can keep listening to music or your favorite podcasts, we’ve worked closely with Harman Kardon to create a Bluetooth-enabled device transition plan that we hope will help ease the impact of this change.” This will arrive via a firmware update within six months of its release; once the Invoke is updated, Cortana will no longer be accessible on the device. Customers who foolishly ignored my advice to not buy this speaker may quality for a $50 Microsoft Store gift card. You can learn more on the Invoke support website.

Surface Headphones. Microsoft is removing support for Cortana in the first version of Surface Headphones. But it notes that customers of either version of Surface Headphones (and Surface Earbuds) can implicitly access Cortana via the Outlook mobile app’s Play My Emails feature. Owners of first-generation Surface Headphones can learn more about a Microsoft gift card program on its support website. 

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