Microsoft and Amazon partner to integrate Alexa and Cortana digital assistants
This cross-platform integration will also allow Alexa users to access some of the more unique aspects of Cortana. Microsoft has built its digital assistant more directly into its Office products, and now Alexa will get that functionality via Cortana — accessing work calendars and email, for example. While Microsoft is still tempting developers to create their own Cortana skills, existing Cortana users will be able to call up Alexa to get access to the ones that Cortana is missing. This might mean controlling smart home devices, or shopping on Amazon.
While Microsoft and Amazon have formed a closer partnership, Bezos also welcomes Apple and Google to offer similar integration, and says he’d support it. “There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas,” said Bezos in a press statement. “Together, their strengths will complement each other.” Nadella also appears to welcome the idea of collaboration with Apple and Google, saying “Hopefully, they’ll be inspired by it” in an NYT interview.