Published: Fri, September 01, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

Amazon's Alexa to work with Microsoft's Cortana

Amazon's Alexa to work with Microsoft's Cortana

By the end of the year, people will be able to command Cortana to open Alexa and use its functions, and vice versa, the New York Times reports. Currently, Echo users can make free calls and send text messages to friends or family that have the Alexa app on their phone, and an Echo device. While the move is geared toward consumers, it also has deep ties in the enterprise and could set the stage for future deals.

For two years since its inception, AI-powered digital assistant Alexa has seen Cortana as stark competition, but that is changing now. But despite the fact that the Amazon Echo dominates the smart speaker market, Alexa's reach is still limited. "Bringing Cortana's knowledge, Office 365 integration, commitments, and reminders to Alexa is a great step toward that goal", said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.

We've seen a recent explosion in the number of available AI chat assistants on smartphones and computers of late, with Apple, Samsung, Google, Amazon and Microsoft all jostling to be the ideal imitation of the computer systems that series such as Star Trek predicted decades ago.

Advancements in a bevy of industries are helping intelligent digital voice assistants like Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa become more sophisticated and useful pieces of technology.

Not to be left behind, Alphabet Inc on Wednesday said that Google Assistant will soon be available on third-party speakers and other home appliances.

MyHermes has continued their mission to interact with the latest wave of smart devices on the market by becoming the first parcel company in the United Kingdom to fully integrate its tracking solution with Google Assistant. Either Cortana is activated or Alexa, not both. This would be a huge advantage for consumers in theory because it would mean that if they wanted access to both these smart assistants, they wouldn't need to get their respective devices.

It's quite unusual for the two to be partnering up this early in the smart speaker race, as Google and Apple continue to duke it out on the field. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is open to the idea of collaborating with both Apple and Google in the future, and Essential CEO Andy Rubin foresees cross-platform communication as key to ambient and voice computing.

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