While casually looking for updates in the Microsoft Store, I noticed a new update for Cortana after a long time. But, instead of improving things, the latest update caused the app to stop working on Windows 11. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, considering that Microsoft’s assistant hasn’t received a single feature update in the past two years
Microsoft has finally killed Cortana on Windows 11 – its Windows Phone-era assistant that debuted on desktop with Windows 10. Cortana app was the tech giant’s response to Siri in 2014, and Microsoft published a series of advertisements targeting Apple’s powerful assistant.
In one of the ads, Siri, Apple’s counterpart, was depicted admiring itself in a mirror, with a self-pleased phrase, “feeling pretty, oh so pretty”. This was swiftly followed by the entry of Cortana, characteristically voiced by Jen Taylor, subtly jesting at Siri’s robotic speech in a playful, competitive spirit.
While Siri continues to exist, Cortana has just stopped working. A new Microsoft Store update, rolling out to some users on Windows 11, shuts down the standalone personal assistant app.
As we first spotted, and you can see in the screenshot above, Cortana no longer works on Windows 11.
The app now opens with the “Cortana in Windows as a standalone app is deprecated” alert and has a link to a learn more page, which opens Microsoft’s support documentation.
The support document seems to imply Microsoft is shutting down the standalone app with today’s update in favour of Windows Copilot. Microsoft recommends integrating other AI-powered productivity features into Windows, including Bing Search and Windows Copilot.
“We are making some changes to Windows that will impact users of the Cortana app. Starting in August 2023, we will no longer support Cortana in Windows as a standalone app,” Microsoft noted in the document spotted by Windows Latest.
Cortana on Windows 10 remains functional for now, but it’s going away soon
While the app has stopped working on Windows 11, it continues to work on Windows 10, which is set to receive updates until October 2025. Microsoft plans to kill off the app on Windows 10 within a few weeks, a source close to the company confirmed to Windows Latest.
Microsoft has already removed Cortana from Microsoft Launcher for Android and other places, but it will remain available in mobile apps like Outlook, Teams, and Teams rooms.
If anyone wants an assistant or copilot for their desktop, Microsoft recommends Windows Copilot, which is set to debut with the Windows 11 23H2 update. The software maker is also testing first-party and Bing third-party plugins for Windows Copilot, which could take the Copilot experience to the next level.
The other ways to access Cortana-like personal assistant experience on Windows could be the new Bing Chat (accessible via Microsoft Edge or even Chrome) and Microsoft 365 Copilot, a new tool that lets you finish Word, Excel or PowerPoint work using AI.