No more built-in experience

Cortana app for Windows 10 appears in the Microsoft Store

Cortana shows up as an app download in the Microsoft Store, signaling the end as an integrated feature on Windows 10.

Cortana app for Windows 10

Microsoft seems to be planning to further separate Cortana from Windows 10 as new app shows up in the Microsoft Store.

Although the software giant continues the work to improve the experience with its digital assistant, the company has also been making changes to strip out the assistant from Windows 10. Starting with the May 2019 Update, for example, Cortana and Search are two separate experiences, and now an app labeled “Cortana – Beta” in the Microsoft Store signals that future releases of Windows 10 could ship without the assistant.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the end of Cortana, breaking the experience from the OS and into an app will allow Microsoft to support and add new features more quickly with regular updates from the Microsoft Store, instead of waiting for a new version of Windows 10.

Microsoft hasn’t officially offered any details on the plan, but it’s likely that we’ll know more as the next release feature update approach. In the meantime, you can download the Cortana app, but it won’t do anything. You’ll only get a “Hi, thanks for taking an interest” message.