Amazon and Microsoft partner to let Alexa and Cortana summon each other

Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistants will soon be able to grant access to each other. The two companies announced a partnership today that will allow Alexa users to say “Alexa, open Cortana” to speak to Microsoft’s voice assistant and Cortana users will be able to say “Cortana, open Alexa” to speak to Amazon’s voice assistant. With Alexa being consumer/entertainment focused and Cortana being more business/productivity focused, this partnership should pan out well without stepping on each other’s toes. Through Cortana, Alexa customers will be able to use “unique features like booking a meeting or accessing work calendars, reminding you to pick up flowers on your way home, or reading your work email.” Access will be made available later this year and should work through any Alexa-enabled device, including the Amazon Fire TV.

  1. Jay says:

    I had to smile at this post. The whole voice assistant trend creeps me out. Maybe it’s just me, or perhaps my age, but I honestly don’t like talking to my appliances, or to my TV, computer, tablet, speaker, etc. I just feel goofy doing that!

    I’m sure that some years from now, after everyone has bought into voice assistance, the consumer electronics companies will come up with something even more bizzarely futuristic to sell. Perhaps a TV we can control with our thoughts?

    Anyone else agree, or is it just me?

  2. Craig says:

    Why does this sound like witchcraft? Who the heck says summon? The only thing people summon anymore is demons. (Ghost…in the machine) How bout just say “Access Cortana via Alexa”. I know mankind is trying to create a false god via Artificial Intelligence, because that’s what mankind has always innately done in their minds without realizing it. But still? Can’t we try to keep the linguistics a little less dramatic?

    • AFTVnews says:

      LOL! Maybe “summon” wasn’t the best word to use, but I didn’t want to use “access” because to me that sounds like Alexa is talking to Cortana and vice versa. That’s not the case. You’re literally just asking Alexa to connect you to Cortana, like a phone operator connects you to another line. Once the connection is made, the operator (i.e., Alexa) is out of the picture.

      • Craig says:

        It’s not your fault, Elias. It’s simply the nature of where things are headed. Just like people or companies saying “It’s in our DNA”. Oh I know what’s in our DNA alright. Haha! Subliminal phrases that sound harmless today…but tomorrow? Not so much…

        Anywho? Here’s hoping for a Marshmallow or Nougat FireOS 6 release on the tabs soon. Nougat preferred. Close all apps at once, multitasking, app permissions and stacked notifications would be nice to finally have.

  3. Reflex says:

    “The integration will, at least initially, be a little clunky, as you’ll have to ask one voice assistant to start up the other before you can use it. Long term, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says that he hopes this won’t be necessary and that each device’s primary assistant will be able to defer tasks to the secondary assistant as appropriate. The collaboration was Bezos’ idea. He approached Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in May last year to suggest bringing the two voice agents together, and Nadella agreed”

    This is really good. Cortana is an excellent personal assistant, but has virtually no penetration in the home control market. Alexa is great at smart home control and features, but has almost no personalization capabilities. If they can eventually make it intelligent enough to let the appropriate assistant respond depending on what the user is seeking they will have mitigated each of their weaknesses. And it looks like that is indeed their goal and roadmap.

  4. AR says:

    you mean people actually use cortana?

  5. jimberkas says:

    the summoner…reminds me of the American Dad character…

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