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Amazon & Microsoft Want Cortana and Alexa To Work on Phones & PCs

Cortana from Microsoft and Amazon’s Alexa will soon work together on phones and notebooks. 

Published
Tech News
3 min read
Alexa and Cortana will soon work on the same smart speaker. 
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Until now, you’ve had just one voice assistant on your phones. But how about having two of them on the same device? That’s Microsoft making a grand plan with Amazon for Cortana in the coming years.

Pretty soon, you’ll be living in a world, where you can ask Alexa to open Cortana on your phone, while Cortana on PC can help you with Alexa.

Amazon & Microsoft Want Cortana and Alexa To Work on Phones & PCs
(Photo Courtesy: Giphy)

Yep. The Redmond-based giant hasn’t been able to crack the smart assistant segment, with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant miles ahead, and this revelation seems to suggest they’ve given up on investing further into the ecosystem.

Not sure how this cross-integration will help consumers (might confuse them instead), but Amazon could spread its wings beyond regular consumers this way.

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Without revealing when the Alexa-Cortana marriage will hit devices, the Build 2018 presentation showed us a future where Alexa can be used to book an Uber, while Cortana will let users reply to their mails on Outlook.

For instance, as Megan Saunders from Microsoft showed at the demo, she uses Cortana on her Amazon Echo to plan her day schedule and manage emails, while Alexa fulfills her grocery needs, by adding milk to her shopping list.

The integration works with the command: “Alexa, open Cortana.”

Ever since Nadella took over the reigns at Microsoft, the company has been mainly focusing on enterprise customers with its cloud-enabled solutions. And by taking Alexa to Cortana, Amazon has a gateway to connect with millions of Windows users, as well as the paid Outlook subscribers. Win-win scenario for both maybe?

For all of you developers out there building skills, Cortana and Alexa will enable access to more people across more devices. 
Megan Saunders, General Manager - Cortana, Microsoft
Megan Saunders from Microsoft giving Cortana demo on Echo speaker. 
Megan Saunders from Microsoft giving Cortana demo on Echo speaker. 
(Photo Courtesy: Microsoft keynote screen grab)
While Alexa accepted personal requests, Cortana helped with business needs.

More than anything else, we’re already dreading about the future where one Android phone (let’s say Galaxy Note 9) could be loaded with four voice assistants (say what?) Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant and Bixby.

Cortana will help you send an email or browse through your official assignments, while Alexa within the Cortana interface will help you with personal daily chores.
Microsoft Blog

Cortana on Windows for Alexa

It’s hard to discount the advantage Amazon will have, especially with Alexa finally reaching over 700 million Windows devices (as highlighted at the keynote) across the globe.

Microsoft will deploy Cortana to be the gateway for using Alexa on Windows PCs and notebooks. Amazon has already taken a commanding lead over Google in the smart speaker segment with Echo in the US, and this cross-integration might help them go big in the PC segment as well.

Cortana lets you access Alexa on Windows 10. 
Cortana lets you access Alexa on Windows 10. 
(Photo Courtesy: Microsoft keynote screen grab)

Nobody has really tried their hands on combining two voice assistants together yet, and it’s fair to say this is a gamble for now. But if it does work, don’t be surprised to see Google do something similar (hopefully not).

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