Amazon and Microsoft are teaming up to integrate their digital assistants. You'll soon be able to talk to Cortana by saying, "Alexa, open Cortana" from an Alexa-powered device like the Echo, and vice versa.
The integration opens up new functionality for both digital assistants, giving customers the ability to access the unique capabilities of each platform. Cortana is deeply integrated with the Office suite, and Alexa users will soon be able to access that information — which includes booking a meeting, viewing upcoming calendar events, reading work emails, setting reminders, and more.
Microsoft is set to launch Cortana-enabled speakers later this year, and teaming up with Amazon gives Cortana the ability to leverage Alexa's vast trove of skills, including the ability to control smart home products and ordering items on Amazon.com. From Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella:
Bezos said that the integration allows both digital assistants to complement each other:
According to The New York Times, the partnership between Microsoft and Amazon kicked off last May, with Jeff Bezos noting that he would welcome a similar integration with Google and Apple. Nadella echoed a similar sentiment, stating that both companies will hopefully be inspired by Microsoft's partnership with Amazon.
The integration itself is set to go live sometime later this year.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.