Cortana is Microsoft’s virtual assistant, which was introduced in 2014 back when Windows Phone was still a thing. Similar to Siri, Cortana lets users perform a number of tasks using voice commands. But it seems Microsoft is giving up on its old virtual assistant, as the latest Windows 11 update kills the Cortana app. The reason? The company will now bet on AI instead.
Microsoft’s Cortana is saying goodbye
As reported by Windows Latest, the Cortana app has received an update via the Microsoft Store after two years without getting a single new feature. But instead of new features, the update pretty much kills Cortana and now shows a message saying that “Cortana in Windows as a standalone app is deprecated.”
A support article from Microsoft details that Cortana will continue to be available within apps like Outlook and Microsoft Teams. However, even that shouldn’t last long. The company behind Windows says it will now focus on Bing Search and Windows Copilot, which are powered by generative AI.
“Starting in August 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,” says Microsoft. “We are excited to keep innovating and using AI to help you work smarter and faster.”
According to Windows Latest, Cortana is also expected to be shut down on previous versions of Windows in the coming weeks. As Microsoft and OpenAI have been working together to improve ChatGPT, it’s no surprise that the company has given up its decade-old assistant in favor of a new technology.
Apple should do the same with Siri
Earlier today, during a call with investors, Apple CEO Tim Cook reinforced that Apple has been conducting research with a “wide range of AI technologies,” including “generative AI” for years.
Multiple rumors have pointed to Apple internally developing a technology to compete with ChatGPT. However, while Microsoft and Google have already made their new tools available to the public, Apple is still a long way off.
In the meantime, Siri is still Siri. Even Apple employees complain about “organizational dysfunction and a lack of ambition” when it comes to the development of Apple’s virtual assistant. Some employees point out that Siri is still based on a very legacy technology and that improving it would require a lot of efforts.
Seeing what other companies are achieving with generative AI, I do think it’s time for Apple to give up on Siri and focus its efforts on new technologies. What about you? What are your thoughts on Apple, Siri, and AI? Let us know in the comments section below.
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