Alexa and Cortana Announce Partnership

Published Date : Aug 31, 2017

Alexa and Cortana are two digital assistants belonging to two international internet behemoths – Amazon and Microsoft. Being from rival camps, one might expect them to compete with one another. But no, they have surprised us with an announcement of partnership.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos tweeted saying: “Alexa has made a new friend.”

One’s home will soon have many virtual beings - capable of not just talking to you but also communicating with one other. This sounds like stuff of science fiction with all new functionalities and experiences added. It will likely become available by the end of this year.

The Cross-platform shall enable the Digital Assistants to Use their Unique Aspects

Cortana users will be able to access Alexa, and vice versa on various devices, although the integration will likely be slightly awkward at the beginning.

This cross-platform integration is expected to enable both the digital assistants to make use of each other’s unique aspects. Microsoft, which has integrated its digital assistant into its Office products, will now make that functionality available on Alexa through Cortana. Those functionalities include accessing work calendars and email. While Microsoft is trying to egg developers to build their own skills in Cortana, existing Cortana can ask Alexa to get access to the ones that Cortana does not have. This would entail managing smart home devices or shopping on Amazon.

This was a sudden welcome move by both the companies, announced just as Microsoft is planning to unveil a Cortana speaker with Harman Kardon and integrate its digital assistant into thermostats, cars, and more devices.