The list of Microsoft software includes not only the operating system and office suite. The corporation introduced its own virtual assistant Cortana back in 2014 – but after five years in the mobile market, it announced the closure of the once ambitious project, which was conceived as an alternative to the popular Google and Apple solutions.
According to Andrew Schumann, corporate vice president for Cortana, Microsoft’s voice assistant for iOS and Android platforms stops working in Australia, Canada, Germany, China, India, Mexico, Spain and the UK. An exception will be made only for the United States – without Cortana, products like the Surface Headphone and the Harman Kardon Invoke will lose their functionality. The corporation’s future plans include the release of an alternative Surface Audio application for the Windows, iOS, and Android platforms.
“We are confident that stand-alone voice assistants can play a role in the foothold of tests and experiments, and we could still try out new ideas. It seems to me that the voice assistant segment can provide ample opportunities, but the actual results are sometimes far from ideal. That is why we will continue to experience this technology. We are still striving to do a lot. You can also call Cortana on devices running Amazon Alexa, as we believe the ecosystem with two voice assistants is quite practical, ”said Schuman.
Microsoft’s top manager confirmed that the company is working on voice input technology, and also plans to add Cortana to most Microsoft Office suite programs. The reason for minimizing the mobile version of the voice assistant, according to a Microsoft representative, was “insufficient linking to the company’s products and the inability to use Cortana where it is appropriate.”
At the end of October, the analytical company Perficiend Digital tested four voice assistants at once. Experts concluded that, compared to competitors, Cortana began to answer questions and understand the user much worse than before.