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Amazon and Microsoft: Alexa and Cortana become friends

Thursday, August 31st, 2017 | Gadgets

Alexa can have Cortana's tasks done, and Cortana can be helped by Alexa. This is the planned partnership between Amazon and Microsoft for digital assistants. The New York Times reported in advance about the cooperation. In the course of the day this is to be officially announced. Then there may be more details.

Alexa is common on smart speakers
According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the partnership was launched as early as May 2016, when the bosses of Amazon and Microsoft had met. By the end of the year it should be possible to use Cortana via Alexa. With this, Amazon integrates all Cortana features into one single Alexa service. Conversely, Cortana can control all the abilities of Alexa.
Alexa plays mainly on smart speakers, especially on the Amazon's own echo speakers. More and more third-party manufacturers equip their loudspeakers now with Alexa and to the Ifa are expected further newcomers. This year, for example, Medion will be launching an Alexa loudspeaker for € 100, which has a special jack socket as input. For example, an MP3 player can be connected to play the music on it.
Cortana can use all Alexa skills
Cortana is widely used on notebooks and computers due to its integration into the Windows operating system. By combining both services, both wizards would greatly expand the amount of supported devices. By the end of the year, the integration of the two digital assistants will be completed and customers will be able to access both. Whether or not German customers can use both services in combination at this time is not yet known. With new Alexa functions it often takes, until these are available in Germany.

If an Alexa user uses Cortana, the pattern for the call looks like this: "Alexa, open Cortana". This is followed by the command given to Cortana. For Cortana users it is then "Cortana, open Alexa", followed by the appropriate Alexa command. Alexa currently benefits from a wide range of skills to teach the digital assistant new skills. These Alexa skills would then be usable with Cortana.
Amazon means Apple and Google welcome
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told the New York Times that he could also imagine such a collaboration with Apple and Google. So far, however, he had not spoken to both companies, but he would welcome them.
Apple is using Siri devices and wants to launch a first smart loudspeaker on the market with the Homepod at the end of the year. Google Home has recently come to the German market and uses the Google Assistant, which sounds much worse in the German version than what Amazon does with Alexa. The Google Assistant is preinstalled on more and more Android smartphones and can be used on them.
Amazon and Microsoft have long been a partnership. So Alexa uses Bing as a search engine. In Germany, the performance of Bing is not at the level of Google, so Alexa is plaguing some knowledge. Anyone who takes the trouble to integrate Google into Alexa on their own makes Alexa a bit smarter by trying to search Google.
Supplement from 30 August 2017, 1:03 pm
Amazon officially announced the collaboration with Microsoft regarding Cortana and Alexa. The company did not mention further details.


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