Smarter together: Microsoft and Amazon make Cortana and Alexa play nice

Smarter together: Microsoft and Amazon make Cortana and Alexa play nice

Smarter together: Microsoft and Amazon make Cortana and Alexa play nice

The integration is now live through an early-access public preview, with users in the United States able to call upon both Cortana and Alexa and their additional apps and services through smart speakers.

Expect both Alexa and Cortana to get more cosy as time trundles on, however. Consumers interested in participating in the early access preview will be asked to engage with new features and offer feedback which engineers will use to improve the collaboration between Alexa and Cortana.

Choosing Cortana may not be the obvious choice for a smart device, especially since both Alexa and Google Assistant have a much better market share and mindshare.

Conversely, they will be able to access Cortana on Alexa-enabled smart speakers like the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show.

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Microsoft and Amazon have just raised the stakes in the battle for voice technology supremacy. "Once you open Cortana, all voice data goes to Microsoft not Amazon, and once you open Alexa, all voice data goes to Amazon and not Microsoft".

As indicated by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, guaranteeing Cortana's accessibility for the users all over the world and over any gadget is a key priority for the company. Total device shipments of smart speakers in the second quarter were nearly 12 million, about 8 million more than the previous year. From there, people can talk to the other assistant as usual. To talk to one assistant through the other, customers have to say either "Cortana, open Alexa" or "Alexa, open Cortana". That isn't stopping Microsoft from pushing on with Cortana, though, with support in the works for thermostats and other home appliances.

While the collaboration can threaten the sanctity of the work-life balance for some customers, it can also promote the adoption of intelligent assistants in business settings.

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