Microsoft drops Cortana consumer skills in new Windows 10 update


Cortana on Windows 10 is getting some changes, Microsoft announced today, as the company shifts focus for what it wants its personal assistant to be. The new Cortana will emphasize productivity features, like helping to manage your schedule, adding to-do items, or sending emails.

As part of that shift, Microsoft is removing some of the older consumer-facing functionality like the ability to control music, manage a smart home, or support for third-party Cortana skills. In other words, Microsoft is going to stop trying to have Cortana emulate Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and focus more on features that fit in with the rest of Microsoft’s software suite.

Microsoft isn’t removing everything from Cortana — you’ll still be able to communicate with the assistant through voice or text, and more basic smart assistant functions like alarms and timers, settings, or conversational answers will still work, too. As part of Microsoft revamping Cortana, it’ll also be removing Cortana from the Microsoft Launcher on Android at the end of April.

The updated Cortana will roll out later this spring, but the new productivity features will only launch in the US at first. International users will still be able to get answers from Bing and talk with Cortana, though, with plans to add more features in the future.



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