Alexa and Cortana devices will speak to each other soon

Alexa and Cortana devices will speak to each other soon

On Wednesday, in the surprising turn, the companies released a joint statement announcing that you will now be able to issue commands like "Alexa, open Cortana", or "Cortana, open Alexa".

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 a year ago.

That means you'll be able to tap into Alexa's smarts via Cortana on Windows 10 PCs and (further down the line) Microsoft's mobile Cortana apps, or access Cortana via Amazon's Echo devices and Alexa-enabled phones like the HTC U11 and Huawei Mate 9.

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The partnership is not the most common considering the two firms are rivals as parent companies and even at the smart assistant level. Cortana has a bent towards organization-booking a meeting or accessing work calendars or reading your work email.

The companies today announced that Cortana will be able to talk to Alexa and vice versa.

Neither company is now working with Apple and Google, who offer the Siri and Assistant intelligent assistants respectively, according to the report. Amazon's push to partner more closely with Microsoft makes sense, as the pair are both trying to fend off Google's own assistant and Microsoft already helps power Alexa queries through its Bing search engine.

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The new Cortana-Alexa functionality will be available later this year, meanwhile.

According to the publication, the integration is coming about because Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos realized that Cortana offered unique features related to Microsoft Outlook and Office that Amazon's Alexa asked.

The Amazon-Microsoft partnership started in May 2016, when Bezos raised the idea with Nadella at Microsoft's CEO Summit, an annual event for business leaders in the Seattle area.

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"Together", he continued, "their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience". Amazon just co-opted that with Multi-Room Music for its Alexa-enabled Echo smart speakers. Microsoft and Amazon are working together to ensure that their voice-driven digital assistants will be able to work together in a surprising collaboration.

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