A year after quietly adding support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (alongside Microsoft's Cortana) to its Windows 10-powered GLAS smart thermostat, Johnson Controls is dropping Cortana. Johnson Controls is notifying users this week that an upcoming software update will remove Cortana support from the device.
According to a GLAS customer note posted by SlashGear, Johnson Controls isn't providing users with a reason for dropping Cortana. It simply is letting customers know that "other voice assistants" (Alexa and Google Assistant) will be able to control the device. Unlike Cortana, which was integrated directly into the GLAS device, Alexa and Google Assistant require users to connect an Echo or Google Home type device to their GLAS accounts for voice functionality to work.
Microsoft has been struggling with repositioning Cortana for the past year-plus. Officials continue to say publicly that Microsoft is still committed to pushing Cortana as a personal digital assistant. But many of the company's recent moves show that Microsoft seemingly is more interested in making the smarts behind Cortana an integrated piece of the company's productivity software and services.
Microsoft and Johnson Controls first revealed plans for the Windows 10 IoT Core-powered GLAS smart thermostat which would work exclusively with Cortana in July 2017.