Microsoft And Amazon Have Integrated Cortana And Alexa

Amazon has announced that the Alexa voice assistant will soon offer a Cortana skill, allowing Echo owners to access information which is only available via Microsoft's own voice assistant service.

"Today, we're making Alexa even smarter with an all-new feature that lets you play music synchronized on multiple Echo devices to provide room-filling music throughout your home", said Toni Reid, Vice President, Amazon Alexa. This will bring the capabilities and uses of each digital assistant to the devices on both sides of the aisle. "In the future, on your Windows 10 PC, iPhone or Android phone, you could simply say, 'Hey Cortana, open Alexa, ' and ask Alexa to order diapers using your preferred payment method for your Amazon account".

"The world is big and so multifaceted".

Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, talked about Alexa and Cortana working together to build upon each other's strengths and data sets in a complementary, if not synchronistic, fashion.

The partnership, announced by the companies this morning, began with a direct conversation between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the Redmond company's CEO Summit a year ago, the two leaders told the New York Times. Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella echoed that sentiment: "Hopefully, they'll be inspired by it".

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Alexa customers will get access to Cortana's features like the ability to book a meeting or access work calendars. By linking the two, you'll have easy access to the things that Cortana excels at. "Similarly, Cortana customers can ask Alexa to control their smart home devices, shop on Amazon.com, interact with numerous more than 20,000 skills built by third-party developers, and much more", Amazon explains in its press release.

By pooling their resources, Microsoft and Amazon are better positioned to go after Google Assistant and Siri, but both companies seem amenable to partnering with the competition.

Even so, it still seems unusual that these two will partner up. Meanwhile, Google's Assistant is now in smartphones and in its Home smart speaker.

As the artificial intelligence war heats up, Amazon and Microsoft have made a decision to join forces in hopes of getting the edge over competition from Apple and Google.

Microsoft and Amazon said their assistants would be updated "later this year". It works with Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Pandora for now, and the company says support for Spotify and SiriusXM is "coming soon".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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