Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa to Work Together

Laverne Mann
August 31, 2017

There are two other major players in the world of AI helpers, Google's Assistant and Apple's Siri.

Alexa and Cortana will begin talking to each other later this year, and at that time Microsoft and Amazon will announce further details and features. Alexa customers will be able to access Cortana's features, including booking meetings, accessing calendars and reading email. Amazon is now the leader in the space, with Echo devices representing 70% of sales for smart speakers, according to the New York Times.

Why do this? One big clue is this line in Microsoft's blog post: "Cortana users will be able to have Alexa shop on and manage their Amazon orders". "Bringing Cortana's knowledge, Office 365 integration, commitments, and reminders to Alexa is a great step toward that goal". Although Nadella and Bezos haven't talked to them yet about it. You will be able to turn to your Echo device and say, 'Alexa, open Cortana, ' or turn to your Windows 10 device and say, 'Cortana, open Alexa'.

Now, you can use the Alexa app to create "groups" of Echo devices that you want to sync up.

In a statement, Microsoft announced, "Cortana users will now have another way of making their lives easier with a great shopping experience".

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While the partnership is likely to be good for both users of Windows 10 and the Echo, it does somewhat call into question Microsoft's plans to have Cortana-powered speakers such as the Harman Kardon speaker revealed previous year. Bezos believes that customers should have "access to as many of those A.I.s as possible".

Amazon will also release the Alexa Voice Services Multi-Room Music SDK early next year.

When this partnership goes live, Alexa-powered devices will be able to connect to Cortana by saying, "Alexa, open Cortana". Microsoft and Amazon are planning to fully detail their partnership later today.

The partnership is a surprising step as numerous major tech companies are battling for a piece of the personal assistant market. Google, of course, has Google Assistant built into the Google Home speaker as well as select Android phones. It's his idea that Amazon took to Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft. Tip of the hat to both Amazon and Microsoft.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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