Microsoft’s plan for Invoke speakers is likely to cause the most resentment. The company will push a firmware update for smart devices to replace a Bluetooth speaker. “The firmware update will be automatically delivered to a WiFi-connected device within six months of its release,” the company said.
As an olive branch to Invoke owners, Microsoft is planning to send them $ 50 gift cards. To be eligible, you will have to use your Invoke speaker to request something of Cortana between July 31and before today’s announcement.
As mentioned above, Microsoft also plans to remove the current iteration of Cortana from the first generation of its Face Headphones in early 2021. Once the change passes, you will still be able to use the digital assistant, but only through the integration that comes with Outlook Mobile. First Generation Surface Headphones owners can get a $ 25 gift card.
“We’ve spent a lot of time thinking through this transition and understanding that these changes can be disruptive for some of our customers,” the company said.
How The Verge points out, the changes mark another step in the reinvention of Cortana as a productivity-focused digital assistant. Cortana won’t be leaving, but Microsoft is tweaking the software to better complement apps like Outlook and Teams. In doing so, the company is likely to hope to bring out a niche for the digital assistant away from those who love the Assistant and Alexa. Needless to say, all of this is a small relief if you bought into the company’s original vision for Cortana.