When Microsoft sent Groove Music Pass off into the sunset, we doubt many tears were shed. The company's music streaming service was hardly a success and refunds were issued to customers. In other words, everybody just moved on… mostly to Spotify. However, an unexpected consequence of the Groove closure has been observed in Cortana.
It seems Microsoft's virtual voice assistant has lost a feature in the post-Groove era. The music icon that still sits in the top right corner is now pointless, it just doesn't work. This button was Cortana's music recognition capability and it no longer functions. Microsoft has apparently retired the ability.
Unfortunately, this is not a bug or a temporary closure when Microsoft works on something else. Jason Deakins of the Cortana team took to Twitter to confirm the retirement.
If you try to press the music icon now, you will see an error message. For those sad to see the feature go, at least the error message is kind of funny, as you can see in the screenshot above.
Hi @faltermayer, that is correct: due to the shutdown of the Groove music service, Cortana's music recognition functionality has been retired.
— Jason Deakins (@JasonDeakins) January 3, 2018
We guess a future Cortana update will brush the icon from existence to stop users getting confused.
Groove Music Pass Ends
Microsoft finally closed the doors on Groove Music at the end of 2017. However, the Groove app will live on as a music player on Windows 10, but the Pass streaming service has been shuttered.
It seemed Microsoft was making a go at competing with rivals. Over the last two years, Music Pass received features that brought it closer to Apple Music and Spotify. However, it seems those more popular services ultimately forced Microsoft's hand.
Before sunsetting the service, Microsoft allowed subscribers to redeem refunds from Music Pass and get Microsoft Points (100 to be exact).