Microsoft and Amazon are integrating their voice computing platforms. The users of both Cortana and Alexa users have been given additional privileges that will allow both digital assistant to summon each other with access to additional apps and services. Apple’s Siri and Alphabet’s Google Assistant have been ruling the digital assistant markets but Microsoft and Amazon are looking forward to competing with them by Alexa Cortana integration.
At the Alexa Cortana integration event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had also emphasized towards a more open system, saying “We want to make it possible for our customers to get the most out of their personal digital assistants – not be bound to some walled garden.”
Both Microsoft and Amazon companies are yet to announce as to when the Alexa Cortana integration would be available to the public, but Amazon and Microsoft have been rolling out the integration to everyone in the U.S.A. as a public preview. Both companies will be requesting the users for feedback in order to improve the Alexa Cortana integration.
The live demo provided at the Alexa Cortana integration was clear that both Microsoft and Amazon had thought about the user experience. Microsoft has announced that “With this public preview, we want users to engage with the experience and provide feedback to our teams can continue to improve the experience,”
Initially, Alexa and Cortana will both be authorized as a skill on each platform, which will allow the users to call up Cortana from an Echo device and get access to the basic Windows (only Windows 10) and Ms-Office specific features of the digital assistant. Microsoft and Amazon both have promised additional skills like streaming music or alarms and other features will be added over time.
For example, a person with using Cortana can now easily order products from Amazon or manage existing orders using voice instructions. Vice versa, someone with an Amazon’s Echo could set up a new calendar evens and simply respond to emails with the help of Cortana.
By looking at the facts it can be noticed that Alexa has more than 45,000 “skills” that developers have come out with, while in case of Cortana there are just about 250. Clearly, Amazon has the lead when it comes to smart speaker device shipments and Microsoft’s digital assistant is yet to start appearing in speakers, cars, fridges, and other appliances like the company promised, so it will be definitely turn up to be a major advantage for Microsoft and Cortana to cope up in the digital assistant field.
As noticed in the earlier stages the integration might look clunky but both Microsoft and Amazon are working towards improving this in the coming days.
Microsoft’s Jennifer Langston expresses her view on Alexa Cortana integration as “The goal is to have two integrated digital assistants who can carry out tasks across different dimensions of daily life.”
Unfortunately, you can only take it for a spin if you’re currently residing in the US, but still, this is a much wider release than the limited beta Microsoft and Amazon released a few months back.