Microsoft is continuing to turn its back on Cortana as a consumer fronted voice assistant. The latest move has seen the company remove its Cortana bot from Skype. Highlighting the direction Microsoft has taken over the last year, the company is now actively promoting Amazon Alexa’s integration on the communication platform.
Cortana on Skype would give users the ability to ask the assistant to complete basic tasks, or make entries to the calendar. Microsoft has shuttered the service instantly, so messaging the Cortana bot now brings no response.
Microsoft has been sending out notices to users saying the bot is “no longer supported in Skype”, although existing conversations will stay open until April 30.
With the rise of Alexa on Windows 10, Cortana is increasingly being moved towards being a productivity-focused virtual assistant. The idea of the assistant being a front-facing tool could be reduced in future Windows 10 builds.
For example, Microsoft is splitting Cortana from Windows search through next month’s Windows 10 version 1903 update.
Microsoft says the assistant will now become more integrated with Windows, so users may not even know when they are using it. This will also be the case on Skype, where Cortana’s role will change. Suggestions will still be available through the settings menu, which can be used to see suggested replies in charts.
It is worth noting the Cortana bot is not the only victim as Skype has been generally moving away from bots recently. For example, the bot directory is no longer available and major bots are no longer supported.