Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana team up to take on Google

Lucy Hill
August 31, 2017

MobileSyrup has reached out to Microsoft to find out how the partnership will work in Canada given that Alexa isn't available here through an Echo device just yet.

Amazon has announced some cool new features for its internet connected speaker, Echo. The Amazon and Microsoft are together ensuring the digital assistants work in collaboration with voice-driven commands. At the same time, the ones with the devices that are powered using windows 10 software can decide to ask Cortana to bring in Alexa which would then assist with tasks like the controlling of smart devices within the home or even ordering things from Amazon.

At a technology event in June, Amazon exec David Limp said he hoped there was a day when the company's virtual assistant, Alexa, worked with competing digital assistants like Cortana. By opening their voice-activated AI vaults to one another, this goes some way toward boosting the overall appeal of such assistants to a broader consumer base. "There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas", Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, said in the same joint statement.

With Cortana being able to talk to Alexa you can now use your Windows 10 devices to get Alexa to control compatible smart home devices, shop for wares on Amazon, interact with the 20,000+ Amazon skills built by third party developers, and more. Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google and almost every other big tech company is pouring huge amounts of money into making digital assistants that are smarter and can do more, seeing them as a new way for people to interact naturally with devices and online services.

Amazon adds multiroom audio control to Echo devices
Also announced today is Amazon's Connected Speaker APIs , which will let you use Alexa to control connected audio systems. It'll also have better sound technology, thanks to several tweeters, and better microphone technology.

Ocado has announced that they are launching a new app that allows you to use Amazon's Alexa for grocery shopping.

Less than a third (29%) of Brits say they would like to own a device such as Google Home or Amazon Echo in future, with 61% of respondents saying they are reluctant to hand these companies more data than they now hold. Alexa devices will now have access to Cortana's more business-oriented features and integration with Office products, like work calendars and scheduling reminders.

While Microsoft and Amazon have formed a closer partnership, Bezos also welcomes Apple and Google to offer similar integration, and says he'd support it. Nadella also appears to welcome the idea, saying "Hopefully, they'll be inspired by it" in an NYT interview.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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