Amazon and Microsoft today have announced a new partnership that will allow cross-device compatibility for Alexa and Cortana. The partnership allows Alexa and Cortana to take advantage of each AI’s best abilities. It will bring Cortana to devices where Alexa already exists, but also will bring Alexa to the millions of Windows 10 PCs. Cortana currently has access to its own skills, but its database of third party functions is small. Cortana will now be able to advantage of Alexa’s huge third party skills database – which numbers close to 20,000 today.
However, if history teaches us anything, Microsoft has a habit of pushing forward with innovative technology only to let (on purpose or not) others eventually lead and take control over that industry. Could this be the beginning of the end for Cortana?
|Alexa meet Cortana, Cortana meet Alexa|
Amazon and Microsoft collaborate to help Alexa and Cortana talk to each other
SEATTLE-August 30, 2017-Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced today that Alexa will be able to talk to Cortana, and Cortana will be able to talk to Alexa. You will be able to turn to your Echo device and say, “Alexa, open Cortana”, or turn to your Windows 10 device and say, “Cortana, open Alexa”.
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.
“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.”
Alexa and Cortana will begin talking to each other later this year.
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