In October 2017 Microsoft introduced the Harman Kardon Invoke Cortana-powered speaker for $199.
Today Harman Kardon is effectively killing the speaker with a new update that disables all smart functionality.
The update disables response to Hey Cortana or tapping the top button, and also disables any WIFI functionality, turning the device into a Bluetooth speaker. Even the light which pulses in response to the beat of the music will be disabled.
The update has of course long been coming, and Harman Kardon notes:
Please note that the Cortana service on the Harman Kardon Invoke will end in the coming months regardless of whether you receive the update.
Microsoft realized in 2019 that there was no profit in competing with Amazon and Google, and limited the smart assistant functionality of the speaker two years ago. In compensation, Microsoft also offered Invoke users a $50 gift card which owners can still claim.
To do that, read the FAQ about the update, which is rolling out on the 10th March 2021, here.
Thanks, Jo for the tip.