Microsoft rumored to pull Cortana from Android launcher for international markets

Kareem Anderson

Microsoft’s digital assistant is in a figurative development purgatory of sorts where it’s neither making its proclaimed advancements in the company’s productivity software and services just yet and it’s not officially pulled from all its former consumer facing efforts, however, what remains clear is that its undergoing changes and one of them includes being pulled from the company’s Android launcher soon.

According to sources, Microsoft plans to continue to trim the number of places the digital assistant appears and one of those places looks to be in the Microsoft Launcher for Android, but more specifically, for regions outside of the US.

Despite hosting more than 500 million people on Windows 10 and more than 1.5 billion Windows devices in the wild internationally, Microsoft still has trouble getting some of its services and software to work in uniform with its North American counterparts and Cortana was yet another of those shortcomings for the company.

While the apparent news about Cortana being pulled from the Microsoft Launcher for Android internationally might be a bit of a sting for users around the world, the reality is that for the past five years Cortana has been a crippled experience for Windows users on both mobile and desktops, which is, in part, the reason Microsoft is pivoting the service to an area the company appears to have more competency in.

Be it localization, licensing or any other number of internationally related issues, the Microsoft Launcher might see faster and more uniformed development with Cortana’s absence and the launcher possibly defaulting to a native assistant such as Google, Xiao Ai, Alexa, Brenno or even Bixby