Amazon teams up with Microsoft to integrate Alexa with Cortana

Pensioners in adult social care will be given Amazon Echos in their homes so the devices can remind them when to take their medication. The voice-activated gadgets which are to be handed out to 50 clients will also remind users when their car

Microsoft has made Cortana an integral part of its Office and Outlook programs, and Amazon.com has encouraged outside vendors to offer services for its voice-activated products. For instance, there isn't really an easy way for Alexa to access your work calendars or the reminders set through Cortana.

The New York Times reports that Microsoft and Amazon partnered in May past year, after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos raised the idea with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at Microsoft's CEO summit.

"There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas", Amazon fonder and chief Jeff Bezos said in a statement announcing the digital assistants were becoming friends. Starting today, Amazon is finally adding a feature for Alexa-enabled devices that will let you group multiple speakers together so you can synchronise your music across various rooms.

Later this year, Windows 10 PC users will be able to say, "Cortana, open Alexa" to start interacting with Amazon's digital assistant. Hopefully, they won't be talking behind your back, rather they will be working together to deal with your incessant demands in a smarter, more joined up way.

Amazon and Microsoft have announced they will collaborate with each other to make their respective digital assistants talk to each other.




Now, you can use the Alexa app to create "groups" of Echo devices that you want to sync up.

The update will be a major shift for Amazon Echo functionality, providing users an incentive to purchase more than one Echo device. They're now of the opinion that assistant has its own unique strengths, and by collaborating assistants can improve one another; presumably improving the user experience in the process. In a move that will ultimately benefit customers, Alexa and Cortana will be able to communicate with Cortana and vice versa.

The partnership is a surprising step as numerous major tech companies are battling for a piece of the personal assistant market. Meanwhile, Google's Assistant is now in smartphones and in its Home smart speaker. But, as The Times notes, such a future may be unlikely since Google and Apple see their AIs as key differentiators for their mobile phone operating systems.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, also heralded the collaboration.

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