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Cortana is essentially dead as a consumer product

Microsoft has announced it is nixing some first-party and all third-party skills for its Cortana personal assistant for Windows 10.

In a blog post on Friday, the computing giant said skills like the ability to control music and smart home tools are being phased out, along with all of the tools created by the community of developers.

Elsewhere, the company is ending support for Cortana completely in some versions of Windows 10, while Cortana services in the Microsoft Launcher on Android will be switched off at the end of April.

The company has already ditched the standalone apps for Android and iOS and is increasingly relying on Amazon’s Alexa to perform most of Cortana’s tasks on the desktop. The changes come in the upcoming windows 10 release that will further reposition Cortana as a productivity tool for Enterprise users.

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In the blog post, the company explains: “The upcoming update to Windows 10 will include access to a new Cortana experience with an emphasis on productivity, helping you quickly find the information you want across Microsoft 365.

“The new Cortana experience in Windows 10 features a chat-based UI that gives you the ability to interact with Cortana using your voice or the keyboard.”

For example, users willl be able to say or type “What’s next on my calendar?”, “Remind me to send the ‘weekly report’ every Friday at 2pm.”, or “Add ‘status report’ to my task list”. Microsoft says information will continue to be sourced by Bing, unfortunately, while the ability to set timers, change settings and open apps will remain.

The productivity changes will come to the US soon and roll out to other markets in the near future. However, the key takeaway here is that Microsoft’s ambitions to make Cortana as widely used as the other AI assistants are over.

Will you miss Microsoft’s Cortana assistant? Or was the AI tool a pale imitation of Alexa, Google Assistant and co.? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.