Alexa and Cortana devices will speak to each other soon

Let Sky Net References Continue Amazon's Alexa And Microsoft's Cortana Will Soon Be Able To Communicate

This unexpected love story between two rivals seems rather unusual, considering that what it basically means is users can instruct the assistant they're now using to open up the other one. Similarly, the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show will be able to use the productivity features, such as calendars, of Cortana. Amazon is now the leader in the space, with Echo devices representing 70% of sales for smart speakers, according to the New York Times.

You can now order your weekly shopping from Ocado using the Amazon Alexa voice assistant on supported devices.

Users will be able to say "Alexa, Open Cortana" followed by their command such as "When is the next budget review" which is only available to Microsoft's AI.

"The world is big and so multifaceted", Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said in a statement. It's likely both Bezos and Nadella had Apple and Google at the top of their minds when they agreed to the partnership. The New York Times reports that Alexa users will be able to access Cortana, and vice versa on a range of devices, but that the integration will be a little awkward initially. That support will also be extended later to Cortana apps on Android and iOS.

Microsoft is lagging far behind Amazon in opening up Cortana to third-party developers via its own Skills Kit. Yet each of them comes with unique skills that users might want access to.

Overall, today's announcement is very good news for Microsoft and Cortana users. As it pertains to the AI voice arena, Microsoft deserves kudos for forging an alliance with Amazon, and likewise credit goes to Amazon for being accepting of the proposition.

"The personality and expertise of each one will be such that if they interoperated, the user will get more out of it".

The partnership is a surprising step as numerous major tech companies are battling for a piece of the personal assistant market. But, as The Times notes, such a future may be unlikely since Google and Apple see their AIs as key differentiators for their mobile phone operating systems.

Microsoft chief Satya Nadella has prioritized making the company's software and services available from the broad array of devices people use to connect to the internet. Tip of the hat to both Amazon and Microsoft.

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