Microsoft may be planning to discontinue this meeting-coordination service

Microsoft is planning to end another Cortana service as the virtual assistant further disappears from the company’s radar. According to a note posted to Microsoft’s Office Message Center (first spotted by ZDNet), the software giant might discontinue its Scheduler service for Microsoft 365 in September 2023. Meanwhile, company officials have suggested that some of the features of the Scheduler service will be bundled together with another offering in the upcoming days.

Microsoft has not revealed why it is olanning to drop the service, however, this might be a way for the officials to save money by discontinuing the lesser-used products. Moreover, Microsoft also offers a similar service for Outlook called FindTime.

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What is Microsoft’s Scheduler service
In June 2021, Microsoft started rolling out the Scheduler service in English across Microsoft 365 accounts. The service was expected to be released a year earlier but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed its arrival, the officials mentioned. This service was initially known as “Calendar. help” which allowed Cortana to schedule meetings, on the user’s behalf, with people who are not from their organization.

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This service allows users to use natural-language queries to schedule their meetings. Users can command like: “find a time for John and me to meet for lunch next week,” and the backed service checks the attendee availability and goes through multiple emails before sending calendar invitations. The scheduler service can also reschedule and cancel meetings.

Microsoft’s Scheduler service availability
This service from Microsoft has been available as an add-on for multiple Microsoft 365 licenses that come with a Microsoft Exchange Online plan. Scheduler charges $10 (roughly around Rs 800) a user per month if paid as an annual upfront payment, whereas the service will charge $12 (almost around Rs 950) for a single user every month if the payment is to be done monthly. The service even offers volume and partner discounts along with a standard 30-day free trial.

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