In a first of its kind partnership, Amazon and Microsoft have announced that both companies’ digital assistants will be able to speak to each other. Later this year, Alexa will be able to talk to Cortana, and Cortana will be able to talk to Alexa.
When this partnership goes live, Alexa-powered devices will be able to connect to Cortana by saying, “Alexa, open Cortana.” Likewise, Windows 10 device users can say, “Cortana, open Alexa.” This will bring the capabilities and uses of each digital assistant to the devices on both sides of the aisle.
This means that Alexa customers can access Cortana features such as booking a meeting, accessing work calendars, reminders, reading your work email, etc.
“Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, in a statement. “Bringing Cortana’s knowledge, Office 365 integration, commitments, and reminders to Alexa is a great step toward that goal.”
Cortana customers can access Alexa features such as shopping on Amazon.com, or any of the other 20,000 plus skills from third-party developers.
“There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas. Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience,” added Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. “It’s great for Echo owners to get easy access to Cortana.”
The partnership between Alexa and Cortana does not have a specific release date as of yet, with Amazon just providing a broad timeline of later this year.