Cortana and Alexa Integration Launches in Public Preview

Bessie Dean
August 16, 2018

However, Amazon says that it is working with Microsoft to expand support to additional devices in the future. Microsoft set up a web page where interested developers could receive notifications about the integration at the Build conference in May, and now, finally a preview of the setup is available to all.

But today, finally, almost a year after it was first announced, Amazon and Microsoft are claiming that their rollout of the digital assistant collaboration has begun.

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"Cortana users will be able to have Alexa shop on and manage their Amazon orders and access many of Alexa's third-party skills by asking Cortana to open Alexa, just as Alexa users will have access to Cortana's world knowledge and helpful productivity features such as calendar management, day at a glance and location-based reminders simply by asking Alexa to open Cortana", said Microsoft spokesperson. Cortana and Alexa can each be enabled as a skill on the other, Microsoft officials said today.

That's the premise behind a cooperative effort from Amazon and Microsoft that lets Alexa users cue up Cortana on their Echo speakers. But Cortana is more reserved and profesh, since she works with Microsoft products like Outlook.

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The Verge reports that Microsoft and Amazon have released a wider public preview of its previously teased deeper integration between the Alexa and Cortana digital assistants - available for everyone in the United States right now. Although Cortana has been available on Windows 10 devices since 2015, Amazon Echos had been on the market for almost three years before the Harmon Kardon speaker with Cortana was released last fall.

"This is just the start for Alexa and Cortana, which means features like music, audio books, and flash briefing will not be available immediately".

Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana are coming soon to a smart device near you - together, with new integrated features that allow the digital assistants to talk to each other.

I guess Microsoft execs may look at the Cortana-Alexa integration as a way to make up for Cortana's huge skills gap compared to Alexa.

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