Cortana’s days as the AI assistant for Windows are over as the company pivots to its Bing-powered Windows Copilot.
Inspired by the AI in the Halo game series, Cortana was one of Microsoft’s first attempts to incorporate an AI-style assistant in Windows. As AI has advanced, Cortana was still present but upstaged by the new AI-powered Bing Chat, which in turn powers Windows Copilot.
Microsoft announced in a support document that Cortana will be retired in favor of the company’s newer options:
We are making some changes to Windows that will impact users of the Cortana app. Starting in late 2023, we will no longer support Cortana in Windows as a standalone app. However, you can still access powerful productivity features in Windows and Edge, which have increased AI capabilities. This means you can still get help with your tasks, calendar, and email, but in new and exciting ways. This change only impacts Cortana in Windows, and your productivity assistant, Cortana, will continue to be available in Outlook mobile, Teams mobile, Microsoft Teams display, and Microsoft Teams rooms.
Microsoft is specifically touting Windows Copilot as a Windows Cortana replacement:
Windows Copilot: Available in preview for Windows 11 in June, Windows Copilot provides centralized AI assistance. Together, with Bing Chat and first- and third-party plugins, you can focus on bringing your ideas to life, completing complex projects, and collaborating instead of spending energy finding, launching, and working across multiple applications.
The news is not really surprising, especially given Microsoft’s investment in Bing AI and Bing Chat. Nonetheless, it’s a bit sad to see Cortana fade away, especially for those that have a connection to the AI’s video game roots.