The digital assistant scene at the moment is feeling very crowded. You have Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana, and Bixby, just to name a few of the more popular ones. This has led to the fragmentation of smart home devices which can only use one digital assistant, but not anymore.
Microsoft and Amazon have started to roll out the integration of Alexa and Cortana into each other. What this means is that if you have an Amazon Echo device, you will be able to call upon Microsoft’s Cortana. The same can be done on Windows 10 PCs or the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker, where you can use Cortana to call upon Alexa.
Why would anyone do this? For the most part, digital assistants all share similar functionality on a basic level. However there are certain features that could be limited to a particular digital assistant, or you might have a smart home device that might only work with one digital assistant. So by being able to use either, it creates a more flexible situation.
This collaboration isn’t new per se. Both Microsoft and Amazon actually announced their plans back in 2017, but it took pretty much an entire year before we saw the fruits of that partnership. For now the feature has been launched as a public preview with some basic features, but we expect that this will expand over time. While we doubt we’ll be seeing Apple hop on board this bandwagon anytime soon, it might not be the worst idea.