Microsoft is pivoting Cortana away from being a consumer AI, therefore widening the gap between it and the likes of Alexa and Google Assistant.
For instance, in the latest Windows 10 update, Cortana’s consumer skills are officially going bye-bye. Microsoft has announced that Cortana will now focus primarily on productivity features, whether that’s helping you manage your schedule, send emails, or add items to your to-do list. As part of these changes, Microsoft is removing the ability to control music, manage a smart home, and support for third-party Cortana skills.
Add it all up, and Microsoft’s assistant is losing a lot of functionality with this Windows 10 update. Instead of trying to rival Alexa and Google Assistant with fancy features and skills, Cortana is mostly enhancing Microsoft’s software at this point. You’ll still get to use some smart functions, such as setting timers and adjusting settings, all through voice or text – but if you want to play a song or turn off the lights, you’re out of luck.
Microsoft said its updated Cortana will roll out to Windows 10 users sometime later this spring, and that the new productivity features will launch in the US first. It’s also removing Cortana from the Microsoft Launcher on Android in April.