Microsoft and Amazon finally set Cortana and Alexa integration live

Joanna Estrada
August 19, 2018

After an interminable wait, yesterday Microsoft and Amazon finally released their Cortana/Alexa gateway, allowing users to access Alexa from their PC and Cortana from their Amazon Echo. More devices will be added over time. "It's great for Echo owners to get easy access to Cortana". Users can say "Alexa, open Cortana", which will then see Cortana pop up on an Echo device, while "Hey Cortana, open Alexa", will do the reverse on a Windows 10 computer.

After initially being teased over a year ago, Microsoft and Amazon have announced that their respective smart assistants will be coming to each other's devices.

Microsoft and Amazon have just raised the stakes in the battle for voice technology supremacy. The Cortana-Alexa alliance works, on paper, because both have slightly different strengths, with Microsoft yet to tackle the home in quite the same way as Amazon, and Bezos' company not interested in taking on Windows' realm. "Once you open Cortana, all voice data goes to Microsoft not Amazon, and once you open Alexa, all voice data goes to Amazon and not Microsoft". Total device shipments of smart speakers in the second quarter were nearly 12 million, about 8 million more than the previous year.

Another study from Parks Associates said nearly 75% of consumers who plan to buy a smart home device said it was essential that it connect seamlessly to other products in their home electronics network, and a Capgemini report believes that within three years, about 40% of consumers will use a voice assistant as an alternative to a mobile app or website. Users need to launch the assistant by accessing the native system, for example "Alexa, open Cortana" or "Hey Cortana, open Alexa".

While the collaboration can threaten the sanctity of the work-life balance for some customers, it can also promote the adoption of intelligent assistants in business settings.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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