Speaking the Nations Mind

Amazon, Microsoft Collaborate On Voice Assistants, Says Officials

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Amazon and Microsoft are collaborators, at least their voice assistants are.

The companies announced this week that Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana will soon be able to talk to one another.

The partnership means that you will be able to access Alexa via Cortana on Windows 10 PCs as well as Cortana on Alexa-enabled devices such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show. The ability will come to Android and iOS in the future.

“Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us,”  Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a press release. “Bringing Cortana’s knowledge, Office 365 integration, commitments, and reminders to Alexa is a great step toward that goal.”

The upcoming integration means Alexa customers will be able to use their voice to access Cortana’s abilities to book a meeting, access work calendars or read business e-mails. Cortana customers, meanwhile can tell Alexa to control their Smart home devices or use the digital assistant to shop on Amazon.com.

“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,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said. “Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience. It’s great for Echo owners to get easy access to Cortana.”

Although no set date was given for when the Cortana-Alexa integration would be available, it is expected to go live later this year.

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