Microsoft Finally Buries Windows Cortana App in Favor of Bing and Generative AI
Microsoft Cortana has been sunsetting for a long time, but the one-time Siri challenger appears to finally be fading for good. The Windows 11 standalone Cortana app has been shut down on Windows 11, almost a decade after it debuted.
A new Microsoft Store update for Windows 11 shuts down the Cortana app, something Microsoft has been warning was coming for a while. The same thing happened to Cortana’s place on the Windows 11 taskbar a little over two years ago. It’s a quiet ending for an app that once guided Windows users through installation. Instead, Microsoft is pointing users toward Bing and generative AI tools available on Windows and the Edge browser. It’s also not the complete end for Cortana the brand, which is still accessible on the Outlook mobile app and Microsoft Teams in general.
“We know that this change may affect some of the ways you work in Windows, so we want to help you transition smoothly to the new options. Instead of clicking the Cortana icon and launching the app to begin using voice, now you can use voice and satisfy your productivity needs through different tools,” Microsoft explained in a post announcing the change. “We are excited to keep innovating and using AI to help you work smarter and faster. We hope you enjoy the new ways to use AI to save time and focus on what matters most to you.”
The launch of the Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise in 2018 marked the true beginning of the change for Cortana. The Cortana app shut down early this year, but Microsoft has fully integrated Cortana into Outlook, Microsoft 365, and the Teams platform. Cortana hasn’t totally vanished from devices either, though it’s pretty much done with smart speakers.