Microsoft and Amazon Show Off Cortana and Alexa Integration at Build 2018

Microsoft and Amazon Show Off Cortana and Alexa Integration at Build 2018

We've known for almost six months that Alexa and Cortana will soon work together, making each voice assistant platform more useful. Cortana is also now being developed to work with Amazon's digital assistant, Alexa.

The reaction, as shown above, obviously received applause from the crowd who clearly understand the Halo reference stated within Alexa's reply. Taking the strengths of both assistants, interacting with each other and making them available on every device possible.

Alexa compatibility is proving crucial in the fight to save Cortana from being an also-ran voice assistant (or "Bixby"). Both Amazon and Microsoft see a future of digital assistants cooperating to take advantage of what each one does best.

An example of how this comes together is Cortana and Alexa's new partnership in enriching lives. This week at Build 2018, Microsoft demonstrated how the pairing with work in the real world, and it isn't as complex as you might expect when combining two competing platforms. She uses Alexa to add milk to her shopping list which is a natural thing as it is an Amazon Alexa powered smart speaker but the next thing she did was ask Alexa to "open Cortana".

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In the second part of the demo, Amazon's Tom Taylor (SVP of Alexa) says "Hey Cortana, open Alexa" on a Surface tablet to which he gets the response "Hi there, this is Alexa".

The surprise partnership was announced last summer, with a goal of getting the two digital assistants on the same page by the end of the year.

Though the implementation isn't ideal, support for Alexa as the default Android assistant will be a boon for many users.

Using Alexa on his Windows desktop, Taylor was able to arrange an Uber pick-up to go to a restaurant. But the only other option was to opt for Microsoft's Cortana (if you have the Cortana app installed).

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