The integration of their digital assistants Alexa and Cortona that Amazon and Microsoft had promised a year ago finally became a reality today. It indeed took longer than planned for the companies to come together for this task but it has at last happened. The planned release for this integration was originally meant for the end of 2017 but went without any further comments or action. Now it has been announced officially and the integration has been put up for a public preview.
What really does this collaboration mean for the users? It means that the American customers who are interested in gaining early access to this collaboration will be able to summon Cortona on Echo devices and also can enable Alexa on their Windows 10 PCs as well as Harman Kardon invoke speakers. The move came after both software giants envisioned the goal of having two integrated digital assistants who can carry out tasks across various dimensions of life either at work or home and whatever device deemed more convenient. According to Microsoft Blog, “These early users will be asked to engage with the new features and offer input: what they like, what they don’t like, what features they use the most. The experience will get better and more precise as more people use it, through customer input and additional data to improve underlying algorithms.”
On the other hand, Amazon blog sheds further light into this new integration and states that Amazon Echo devices can now be used to access several unique features of Cortona by simply saying, “Alexa, open Cortona.” The user will be directly connected to Cortana and they will be able to check their calendars, book a meeting, read their email and more.
Since this is only the beginning of this collaboration, some features like audio books, music, and flash briefing would not be available immediately. However, both the software companies promise improvements as they develop on the features and capabilities of this integration with time.