If you recall, back in June, Microsoft let us know that Cortana was going to be killed off later in 2023. We then heard a firm date for that to happen, namely August, and the first sightings of some folks seeing Cortana dumped were reported just over a week ago.
And now it seems Microsoft is fully pulling support for the digital assistant.
Windows Central reports that the deprecation of Cortana is fully underway, and you’ll be notified the assistant is no longer available if you try to access it in Windows 11. Along with that notification, a link is provided to a support page where you can learn more about what’s going on here.
The change seems to be rolling out for everyone on Windows 11 now, though some folks may still have access to Cortana – but not for much longer.
Cortana will also be getting the elbow from Microsoft Teams later this year, we’re told, and will only remain in Outlook mobile by the time the end of 2023 rolls around.
Analysis: Curtains for Cortana across the board
Waving goodbye to Cortana won’t be a difficult task for most users. After all, certainly for the general computing population using Windows 11, Cortana wasn’t used much anyway. Microsoft had already angled the digital assistant more towards business use because of this – but Cortana will also be dumped from Microsoft Teams, as well, soon enough.
The reason for getting rid of Cortana pretty much everywhere (except Outlook mobile, for some reason) is obvious, and that’s the incoming Windows Copilot AI, a much more ambitious desktop assistant.
This will basically be the Bing AI integrated into a side panel in Windows 11, but with a lot of extra abilities to customize Windows settings in various ways, to save you the trouble of having to hunt for these (options that might be buried deep in submenus somewhere).
Microsoft’s Copilot is already in test builds of Windows 11, but right now, it’s still a barebones incarnation of what the software giant has promised. Meaning it’s pretty much just a built-in Bing chatbot with a few very limited powers to manipulate the Windows 11 environment, though Microsoft is going to build out the latter facets considerably going forward.
Rumor has it Copilot could debut in Windows 11 23H2, and clearing out Cortana before then would make sense in that light. We still have our doubts that Copilot will be impressive enough to launch in just a few short months though (mind you, Bing AI itself not being ready didn’t stop Microsoft launching the chatbot, either).
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).