Major tech companies like Microsoft and Apple have created their own artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistants. It’s not common for rival assistants to play nice with each other but the relationship between Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa will be cordial. The two companies have partnered to better integrate their own digital assistants.
The companies today announced that Cortana will be able to talk to Alexa and vice versa. Users can turn on their Echo device and say “Alexa, open Cortana” or use their Windows 10 device and say “Cortana, open Alexa.”
Alexa customers will get access to Cortana’s features like the ability to book a meeting or access work calendars. Cortana users will be able to use Alex to control their smart home devices, shop on Amazon, and interact with more than 20,000 skills that developers have created for Echo.
“Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, adding that bringing Cortana’s knowledge, Office 365 integration, and more to Alexa is a big step towards that goal.
It seems that Microsoft and Alexa have simply created skills on their platforms to enable this basic form of integration between their virtual assistants. Nobody was expecting the companies to make this move but now that they have, it’s not like customers will ever complain about having more functionality.