August 31, 2017
In a new turn of events between two tech rulers, there comes an unexpected partnership between Amazon and Microsoft. This means that Alexa and Cortana can literally talk to each other. Basically, somewhere later this year, users can use Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant to summon Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant and ask it to do stuff and vice versa.
Alexa will be available as a Cortana skill on Windows 10 PCs first, followed by the Cortana apps on Android and iOS in the future, a Microsoft spokeswoman said in an email. Conversely, Cortana will be available as an Alexa skill on devices like the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show.
“Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us. Bringing Cortana’s knowledge, Office 365 integration, commitments, and reminders to Alexa is a great step toward that goal,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos said, “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. It’s great for Echo owners to get easy access to Cortana.”
Although this may seem confusing at first, users need to understand that both these voice assistants work on two different spheres. While Cortana is mainly powered to focus on productivity and business users, Alexa is empowered to handle e-commerce, entertainment and is mainly consumer focused.
In another statement, it was summed up as, “Alexa customers will be able to access Cortana’s unique features like booking a meeting or accessing work calendars, reminding you to pick up flowers on your way home, or reading your work email – all using just your voice. Similarly, Cortana customers can ask Alexa to control their smart home devices, shop on Amazon.com, interact with many of the more than 20,000 skills built by third-party developers, and much more.”