Amazon and Microsoft are teaming up to make their respective personal assistants available to user base through their devices. This means that you will soon be able to summon Alexa on your Windows PC and bring up Cortana on your Echo speaker.
The integration is a bit awkward though. To trigger Alexa on your Windows device, you will have to say “Cortana, open Alexa.” Similarly, to open Cortana on your Echo, you will have to say “Alexa, open Cortana.” After this, you can say whatever command you want.
“Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Bringing Cortana’s knowledge, Office 365 integration, commitments, and reminders to Alexa is a great step toward that goal.”
“The world is big and so multifaceted. There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas. Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon. “It’s great for Echo owners to get easy access to Cortana.”
The benefit of this integration is that you will now be able to enjoy the strengths of both voice assistants from one single device. So, you can summon Cortana when you want to issue a command related to one of Microsoft’s Office products or use Alexa to purchase stuff from Amazon, stream music, control smart appliances around you, and more.
The move comes ahead of Microsoft launching its own Cortana-based smart speaker for which it has worked closely with Harman Kardon. The New York Times report that Amazon and Microsoft started working on this partnership from May last year, with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos hoping for a similar partnership with Apple.
The integration will be available to customers from later this year.[Via Microsoft]