Microsoft “might” remove Cortana standalone app


Harry Shum, Executive vice president of Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Research group introduces new capabilities of Cortana at Microsoft’s Everyday AI event.

Recently Microsoft agreed to integrate Cortana into Cheetah Android launcher. Outlook is also getting some huge AI integration. Cortana will automatically display notifications when it’s time to leave for an appointment. It will also surface during driving with transit directions, along with an ETA. And today they said “… we hope to integrate Cortana into additional apps and launchers in the future. …

Microsoft is on a mission to bring “Cortana everywhere”. With recent updates of Microsoft Launcher company deeply integrated personal digital assistant in it. And they announced more capabilities are coming to Microsoft Launcher. Now this is raising the prospect that company “might” remove standalone Cortana app.

But killing the app would not be easy too. Microsoft spends lots of resources behind creating such well polished app. And it will also forces users who are not using Microsoft Launcher to make a choice between changing launchers or just using one of the many other virtual assistants.

While on other hand integrating the functionality of the Cortana app into Microsoft Launcher is a good idea. Because this will open new ways for company to deliver more enhanced experience to the customers with a single app. May be low download rate of Cortana compare with launcher could be one of the reason too (5 million downloads of Cortana; Microsoft launcher have 10 million downloads).

Microsoft just begins to position Cortana to spread to even more places. It is very early to say whether company is planning to discontinue the app or not. What we know so far is that Microsoft have some really huge plans for Artificial Intelligence and Cortana. We’ll soon hear more information about it.