Microsoft has announced that it will discontinue the Cortana apps available on several platforms including Android, iOS and Harman Kardon Invoke speakers, along with first-gen Surface headphones, starting in 2021.
The tech giant will instead focus on productivity features that repurpose Cortana as a part of the Microsoft 365 suite of software, citing the revamped Windows 10 functions and integrated Cortana features in the Outlook and Teams apps as replacements.
"In early 2021, we'll stop supporting the Cortana app for mobile (iOS and Android), because you can now manage your calendar and email, join meetings, and do so much more via our new productivity-focused experiences — like the Cortana Windows 10 experience, Cortana integration in Outlook mobile, and soon Cortana voice assistance in the Teams mobile app,'' the company said in a statement.
Microsoft said on Saturday that it is offering one $50 Microsoft gift card per active Harman Kardon Invoke speaker for users who sent a voice request to the digital assistant, but only after July 31, 2019, and before the announcement. Last year, the company first withdrew the Cortana for iOS app from a number of regions.
Earlier this year, Microsoft said it will make productivity the focus of the digital assistant and as part of the shift, its digital assistant Cortana will lose some of its more consumer-facing features, such as the ability to play music and control smart home devices.