A new Xbox home design and update is rolling out to testers. The Home Experiment streamlines the first, and arguably most important, screen on the console. The new design eliminates clutter and speeds up navigation to the most used areas of the system. The other thing the beta does is remove Cortana functionality from headset users. The digital assistant can still be accessed via the separate Cortana app on many devices, which can in turn control a user’s console via the Xbox Skill feature.
It’s yet another step back for Cortana, which is going through a bit of a strategy change at Microsoft. The digital assistant was introduced on the Xbox One in the summer 2016 update, and the intent was for players to use their Kinect units to communicate with the search A.I. vocally. Kinect was discontinued in October 2017 and the company ceased making adapters in January 2018, making it virtually impossible for new Xbox One owners to use Cortana as originally intended. You could still talk to Cortana with your headset microphone, but this new update will remove that as well.