Microsoft may benefit from having popular Alexa skills available on Cortana, which got a slower start in the smart speaker game.
"Now", the post explains, "you can now turn to Amazon Echo devices to access many of Cortana's unique features: Check your calendar, book a meeting, read your email, and more".
Starting today, U.S. -based users who want "early access to the collaboration" can start talking to Cortana via their Echo devices and to Alexa on Windows 10 devices and Harman Kardon Invoke speakers, which are powered by Cortana.
The Register has contacted Microsoft to find out when the world outside of America can experience the joy of ignoring Cortana through an Echo device the same way they do now on a Windows 10 PC, and will update if a response is forthcoming.
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The ability to stream music and set alarms across digital assistants are skills that are not available yet.
It's been a long time coming, but Microsoft's Cortana and Amazon's Alexa are finally working together.
After all, the advent of Alexa for Business means that Microsoft likely needs Amazon more than the other way around. Microsoft says the integration will start rolling out to customers Wednesday and will reach all USA customers within days.
Such a future would likely require support from rival voice assistants like Apple's Siri, Samsung's Bixby and the Google Assistant, none of which have shown much movement towards cooperation in the 12 months since Amazon and Microsoft's partnership was first announced. To summon Alexa on a Windows 10 computer, it's the other way around: say "Cortana, open Alexa" to play Jeopardy, add items to your shopping list, check your Amazon order status or to control your smart home devices. "Engineers will use feedback from the public preview to deepen the collaboration between Cortana and Alexa".
I guess Microsoft execs may look at the Cortana-Alexa integration as a way to make up for Cortana's huge skills gap compared to Alexa.