The latest Windows 11 update kills Cortana

Cortana holds out a hand, trailing digital vapor
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Back in May, Microsoft announced that Cortana—the Windows digital voice assistant, not Master Chief's original AI ladyfriend—was being deprecated. Which is a word from the Corporate alignment tongue that translates into English as "killed off". 

Her replacement is Windows Copilot, an AI-based personal assistant that does similar things but with a generative language model and less personality. Copilot can answer questions about Windows, summarize documents, suggest Spotify playlists, and so on. There's also Bing Chat as well, I suppose.

Assuming you haven't already disabled Cortana, she won't actually die unless you apply the latest Windows 11 update. If you do, she'll no longer be accessible on your PC, joining Clippy on the scrapheap of discarded Microsoft assistants.

There's one small note of hope for people who get sad about robots dying, however. In the End of support for Cortana in Windows and Teams article on Microsoft Support, there's a note that "Cortana in Outlook mobile will continue to be available." I didn't even know there was an Outlook app for mobile, but apparently there is, and Cortana will live on within it as a disembodied voice that reads your email out loud, and definitely won't ever go rampant and attempt to awaken ancient constructs left behind by a lost forerunner species.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.