Back in 2017, Microsoft added its voice assistant into Skype, bolstering functionality to better compete with the likes of Discord. It seems as though the company has finally conceded that its Cortana just isn’t as popular as its rivals, opting to swap out the AI for Amazon’s Alexa.
Embedded into the messaging service, Cortana added the ability for users to customise events and meetings onto the calendar, monitor chats and even talk with the witty Halo-born voice assistant herself. Sadly, Microsoft has struggled to gain market share over Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, causing the company to rethink its strategy moving forward.
Skype users who currently utilise the voice assistant are being informed that Cortana will be removed from Skype entirely by April 30, 2019, instead turning their attention towards Alexa. Amazon’s offering has been available on the chat platform since last year, although this requires a third-party application to integrate with the user’s Skype account.
— Florian B (@flobo09) March 27, 2019
Interested parties can set things up by downloading the Alexa application and then connecting it to their Skype account within the settings. The extra trouble won’t be for nothing, as users will retain the ability to execute voice commands and net themselves a cool 200 free Skype minutes as incentive.
It isn’t certain what Microsoft is planning with Cortana, but it certainly looks to be scaling back its voice assistant efforts. In January, the firm stated that it would be removing the voice assistant from her original home in the Windows 10 search bar, instead relegating her to her own dedicated button. Beyond this, Cortana’s fate remains unknown.
KitGuru Says: Microsoft is certainly more accepting of its rivals, even choosing to move to a Chromium-based browser earlier this year. Personally, Cortana didn’t seem quite as bad as Samsung’s Bixby, but I didn’t find much value in using her. What do you think of Cortana?