Alexa and Cortana Will Soon Talk to Each Other

Alexa and Cortana Will Soon Talk to Each Other

Troy Powers
September 1, 2017

Likewise, users of Microsoft's Windows 10 devices can say, "Cortana, open Alexa" so Cortana customers can access Amazon's network of connected smart home devices to turn on the lights, shop on Amazon's website, and order an Uber vehicle, among other things.

In a collaborative project between the two giants, it means that customers soon will be able to turn to their Echo device and ask Alexa to open Cortana, or turn to a Windows device and ask Cortana to open Alexa.

Amazon and Microsoft don't have the only virtual assistants gathering attention at IFA, however.

Available later this year, this collaboration will allow you to access Alexa via Cortana on Windows 10 PCs, followed by Android and iOS in the future. In addition, the swell of internet connected devices like smart thermostats and speakers is giving voice assistants more utility in a connected consumer's life. And both have very different strengths that complement each other.

In a surprise announcement on Wednesday, Amazon and Microsoft announced that are integrating their digital assistants.

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Microsoft says the tie-up will allow Alexa customers to get access to Cortana features such as for booking meetings or accessing work calendars.

As The New York Times points out, however, there are some problems that will need to be addressed first and which consumers need to keep in mind.

In fast response to the Alexa-Cortana alliance, Alphabet announced that its own AI assistant software Google Assistant would be made compatible with third-party speakers and home appliances. Apple nor Google was approached about bringing their assistants into the fold, with Bezos telling the NYT that he's unsure if either would even be interested.

Cortana coming to Echo devices brings over a lot of options, such as having access to Cortana's many productivity features. Jeff Bezos has already opened the conversation for integration with Google and Apple as well, but it may take a little more time to see if they would want to collaborate with Amazon.

"It's a surprise move by both companies, and comes just as Microsoft is preparing to launch a Cortana speaker with Harman Kardon and push its digital assistant into cars, thermostats, and more devices", The Verge reports.