What started as a reciprocal integration of Alexa and Cortana on Echo devices and Windows 10 PCs has now advanced one step further.
Microsoft has now announced that Skype will be available soon on Amazon’s Echo devices.
We are excited to bring Skype calling to Alexa devices, so users can easily communicate with their friends and family from their Echo devices, simply using voice.
Users can make outgoing Skype voice and video calls, accept incoming Skype calls, and even make SkypeOut calls to most phone numbers around the world. For example, simply say, “Alexa, call Jimmy on Skype,” or if Jimmy is calling you on Skype, say, “Alexa, answer.”
Alexa users will soon be able to take advantage of the high-quality Skype network across the globe to easily connect with others from any device type such as PC, mobile phone, and Xbox.
Its unclear whether or not something will need to be enabled (like an Alexa skill) to make this happen when its available, or if it will just “show up,” however, Amazon execs have said recently that it would like to eventually get rid of “skills,” and instead just allow Alexa to intelligently select functions based on customer requests. Amazon also announced this week that Hulu will be available on screen-enabled Alexa devices soon and how that functionality delivers is also not clear. Most likely, though, since Amazon is bringing both Silk and Firefox web browsers to Echo screen devices (like on its Fire TV devices), that Skype and Hulu will run as a web app.
Amazon has its own voice and chat technology called, Chime, but Chime is geared more toward business use and Skype is clearly the more popular option for consumers.
It’ll be interesting to see what’s next from this Microsoft and Amazon partnership.
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