If you have been using Microsoft Cortana personal voice assistant on Android and iOS, the service has been shut down on those two popular mobile platforms with effect from March 31, 2021. It may be noticed that the tech giant had indicated this eventuality last year itself. The digital assistant for the mobile platform was launched in November 2019.
Cortana on Mobile platforms goes off!
Microsoft had last year came up with the announcement that it would be ending support for the virtual voice assistant on Android and iOS. In fact, it had already stopped providing the standalone Cortana app for select apps such as India, the UK, China, Spain, and Canada among others.
The Microsoft Support page clearly mentions that
What made Microsoft shut down Cortana?
The official reason stated by Microsoft is that it wants to focus on the Halo inspired AI assistant. The new strategy is planned with an option to focus on providing users with a great service quality with respect to the Microsoft 365 services.
Microsoft is integratng Cortana into the Microsoft 365 productivity suite. In addition, the voice assistant will continue to be available on Windows 10 and will be the default voice assistant on the Windows platform. Cortana has already found its place in the apps such as Outlook for Exchange and Microsoft Teams. It has been designed to provide complete control over things like manage calendars, email, and join meetings. The personalised actionable briefs have been created for Outlook for Exchange.
The above reasons notwithstanding, the real reason for axing Cortana from mobile platforms has more to do with the failure on the part of Microsoft to compete with the existing Voice Assistants. The competition such as Google Assistant and Apple Siri was easy to reach and implement and were a huge roadblock for Cortana. With Google Assistant built into every Android device, Android users did not necessarily witness any need for moving to Cortana. Same was the case with Apple iOS users who preferred Siri built. For those who looked for a variant that is device-independent, Amazon Alexa came as a huge plus point. It may be noticed that Microsoft ahs a partnership with Alexa to integrate it into Windows 10!
Ultimately, there was not much demand for Cortana at all. It was quite obvious on the part of Microsoft to stop supporting separate mobile apps with a negligible user base.