Cortana and Alexa Integration Launches in Public Preview

15 August, 2018, 21:27 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Microsoft’s Megan Saunders and Amazon’s Tom Taylor show off the first integrations of Alexa and Cortana at Microsoft Build in Seattle

Meanwhile, you'll be able to ask Cortana to let Alexa take the wheel on Windows 10 devices, and on the Cortana-powered Invoke smart speaker from Harman Kardon. After you first say the clunky phrase "Alexa, open Cortana" or "Cortana, open Alexa".

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. At Microsoft's Build earlier this year, attendees did get a glimpse of the integration, but it still wasn't publicly available. That makes sense: Microsoft can integrate Cortana with the Office suite and other apps easier than Amazon can, but developers have already created thousands more "skills" for Alexa than for Cortana.

The Register has contacted Microsoft to find out when the world outside of America can experience the joy of ignoring Cortana through an Echo device the same way they do now on a Windows 10 PC, and will update if a response is forthcoming.

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.

"The goal is to have two integrated digital assistants who can carry out tasks across different dimensions of daily life", Microsoft's Jennifer Langston told The Verge.

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"This integration will allow Cortana users to ask Alexa to shop on Amazon, manage their Amazon orders and access many of Alexa's third-party skills".

The two companies said the integration would be live for US customers Wednesday, the first public launch for the joint service since the companies began testing it more than a year ago.

Today, Amazon and Microsoft are officially unveiling the Alexa/Cortana integration.

Most of the basic features of Alexa and Cortana do overlap here, but Amazon's huge collection of Alexa Skills will be a big addition to Cortana. "Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience", said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.

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