24 March 2021
When Microsoft introduced Cortana years ago, it was hoping to be one of the top digital assistants and compete with market leaders Google Assistant and Apple's Siri. The things clearly did not go as per the plans and as a result, Microsoft has been trying different things for the assistant including removing the hotword.
As reported by HTNovo, an Italian publication, the latest Cortana beta update on Windows 10 has removed the ability to use the "Hey Cortana" hotword. It means using the hotword does not trigger the digital assistant. The change is visible in Cortana beta version 2.2004.22762.0 which is the latest update.
It is noted that the app mentions that the hotword will not be available to users for the time being. A specific timeline has not been mentioned but the note clarifies that it will be re-enabled in a later update. The exact reason behind the decision to temporarily remove the functionality is unknown.
Microsoft has already killed the Cortana app for Android and iOS devices. Windows 10 is the only major platform where Cortana is accessible. The current decision of removing the hotword seems to be a part of new plans. We will have to wait for an official statement to know exactly what is cooking in Redmond.