After careful consideration, we’ve decided to end support for the Cortana service integration in the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker in January 2021. We know that most of our customers primarily use the Invoke to play music because of its premium quality sound. To make sure you can keep listening to music or your favorite podcasts, we’ve worked closely with Harman Kardon to create a Bluetooth-enabled device transition plan that we hope will help ease the impact of this change.
Customers who receive a firmware update from Harman Kardon in early 2021 will still be able to continue listening to their favorite music, podcasts, and radio stations on their Invoke via Bluetooth. The firmware update will be delivered automatically to devices connected to Wi-Fi within six months of its release. Once the Invoke is updated, Cortana will no longer be accessible on the device.
Additionally, we are offering the opportunity to receive one Microsoft Store $50 promotional gift card per active Invoke. This offer is for the owner of the latest U.S.-based Microsoft account used to set up an Invoke speaker that sent a voice request to the Cortana service after July 31, 2019, and prior to July 31, 2020. SEE THE TERMS BELOW AND REQUEST A GIFT CARD AT THE INVOKE REDEMPTION WEBSITE BEFORE JULY 31, 2021.*
We’ve spent a lot of time thinking through this transition and understand that these changes may be disruptive to some of our customers. We look forward to continuing to innovate on ways Cortana can help you navigate the modern workplace so you can save time and focus on the things that matter most in your day.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Why is Microsoft removing Cortana functionality from the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker? Does this mean you are giving up on Cortana?
A: After careful consideration, we’ve decided to end support for the Cortana integration in the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker in January 2021. We’ve worked closely with Harman Kardon to create a device transition plan that we hope will help ease the impact this has on some of our customers.
As we shift Cortana to a more productivity focused transformational AI-powered assistant experience in Microsoft 365, we need to shift our areas of innovation and development to provide our customers the best possible experiences. Part of this shift involves rethinking Cortana’s integration within the Harman Kardon Invoke, where few users engage in the productivity tasks that Cortana is focused on. We greatly value our customers, and this was a tough decision we did not take lightly.
We are excited for what the future holds for Cortana and all the productivity assistance it will provide our customers in the future through deeper integration within Microsoft 365 tools and services, and have taken steps to minimize the inconvenience to our active users.
Q: How long will Invoke users be able to use Cortana with their device after January 2021? How long will users be able to delay the update when it becomes available?
A: Although Invoke users will no longer be able to access Cortana through their device as of early 2021 when they receive the firmware update from Harman, customers will still be able to leverage the premium quality sound available with the Invoke via Bluetooth. Customers will automatically receive the firmware update when their device is connected to Wi-Fi.
A: If your Invoke speaker is connected to Cortana via Wi-Fi, then Cortana will automatically install the update silently in the background – you will not need to take any action. After the update Is installed, your Invoke will perform like other Bluetooth speakers – you will be able to pair it with your phone or other audio source and stream music to it. But Cortana and other Wi-Fi functions will no longer be available.
A: Harman plans to roll out the firmware update around the end of January 2021. We will update the support page once dates have solidified.
A: Customers can check their eligibility and claim a gift card at the redemption website.
Microsoft is offering the opportunity to receive one Microsoft Store $50 promotional gift card per active Invoke. This offer is for the owner of the latest U.S based Microsoft account used to set up an Invoke speaker that sent a voice request to the Cortana service after July 31, 2019, and prior to July 31, 2020. This offer does not apply to Invoke speakers that were part of a developer or employee program in which the Invoke was provided free of charge. This offer is also not available outside the U.S. PROMOTIONAL GIFT CARDS MUST BE CLAIMED BEFORE JULY 31, 2021 AND SPENT WITHIN ONE YEAR OF REDEMPTION.
Promotional $50 Microsoft Store Online gift card is provided in the form of a single use code. Cannot be transferred or redeemed for cash or gift cards unless required by law. Microsoft reserves the right to modify or discontinue this program at any time, or to disqualify and claim that appear to be fraudulent, incomplete, invalid or in breach of these program terms. Program void where prohibited or restricted by law. In the unlikely event of a dispute in connection with this Program, Microsoft’s decision shall be final. Program provided by Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way Redmond, WA 98052-7329. USA. For online purchases in the U.S. only. See full promotional gift card terms at www.microsoft.com/cardterms.
Q: Can I receive a $50 Microsoft gift card if I start using an Invoke speaker today or following the Cortana end of service on the speaker? What if I live outside the U.S.?
A: No, gift cards are for U.S. Invoke customers who were using Cortana on their Invoke prior to July 31, 2020 (the date of the announcement of end of service). See full terms above.
A: If you claimed a Microsoft gift card for your active Invoke but are having difficulty using it at the Microsoft Store, including issues with expiration dates, use the Contact Us link in the footer on the redemption website to send us an email. Make sure you're logged in with the same account you used to set up your Invoke, and that the “Correlation ID” that’s automatically generated is included in the email, as we can’t process your request without it.
A: The redemption website requires that we manually process the gift card codes for Microsoft accounts that are associated with more than one Invoke device. (Note that you can redeem one yourself on the website if you have not done so already, and we will process the additional MAC addresses.) Use the Contact Us link in the footer on the website to send us an email. Make sure you're logged in with the same account you used to set up your Invoke, and that the “Correlation ID” that’s automatically generated is included in the email, as we can’t process your request without it. Also be sure to send us the MAC addresses of each of your Invokes.
A: The MAC address is a 12-character alphanumeric code that can be found on the bottom of the Invoke, or in the Cortana mobile app under Devices > Settings.
A: Once the Invoke is updated, Cortana will no longer be accessible on the device, but customers will be able to continue listening to their favorite music, podcasts, and radio stations on their Invoke via Bluetooth connection to another device.
Q: What about the tap feature? How will that work once Cortana is removed from the device? Will the blue ring remain at the top?
A: After the update, the top panel touch function will control Bluetooth audio playback. The blue ring will be removed from top-panel animations. For detailed information about how to operate your Invoke speaker with Bluetooth, please visit www.harmankardon.com/invoke.
A: No. The Invoke does not support other digital assistants.
A: You can still use the Cortana mobile app to configure your device through early next year. After the Cortana mobile app retires, you will still be able to configure and update your Invoke through the Cortana Device Setup app on Windows 10.