Microsoft and Amazon are aiming to bring their digital assistants to more consumers – and this strategic partnership will make that happen.
Amazon and Microsoft announced Wednesday a partnership to allow their respective voice assistants, Alexa and Cortana, to talk to each other. This means that if users are now asking Cortana for advice but also want to shop on Amazon, they would have to switch back to Alexa. The latest deal between the two tech giants is created to let Alexa and Cortana communicate with each other and ultimately make things hard for Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. And Cortana users can ask lexa to shop on Amazon and control smart-home devices.
“Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us”, Nadella said. While Cortana is helpful and integrated with the Office Suite, Alexa will be helpful for everyday tasks and information such booking meetings, events checking mails and other tasks. The onboard assistant Alexa can be used to control smart home device, like thermostats and lights, and can also play music and audiobooks, among other content, through its speaker. Through the app, you’ll need to sign in with Amazon, and if you already have an Echo or another Alexa device, all of your skills will automatically be available. This also calls into question if other major digital assistants, like Apple’s AAPL Siri and Alphabet’s GOOGL Google Assistant, will collaborate in the future as well.
“Cortana might get a little bit more out of it because it gets Cortana out of the PC”, she said. There’s no specific word on which will hit the Australian market, although Google expects “most” of them to make it to Australia. A non-gimmicky future for digital voice assistants depends on it.
While Alexa has emerged as the humanized AI of the moment, it’s obvious that despite her many cool capabilities, she exists in the world for one reason and one reason only – to move more product from the silo, albeit the massive silo, of Amazon.com’s e-commerce operation. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos first proposed the idea to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at a Microsoft summit past year. “There’s no reason Google or Apple would offer it because they’re trying to drive their own ecosystems”, Jan Dawson, of Jackdaw Research told the New York Times. “Amazon wants more access to the web search engine’s internals, not just the basic API, which actually anyone can get”. Google has a long history of manufacturing smart home appliances. On a Windows 10 device, you’d say the opposite: “Cortana, open Alexa”.