Amazon and Microsoft are teaming up to present a united Smart Assistant front. Starting later this year Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana will be able to talk to each other on Amazon’s Echo lineup of smart home speakers and everywhere you can use Cortana – iOS, Android and naturally Windows 10 devices.
The new partnership throws a wrinkle into the narrative of the emerging world of voice assistants, where Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Apple have been competing to build the operating system of the future. Google, of course, has Google Assistant built into the Google Home speaker as well as select Android phones. Apple’s Siri has been the digital assistant inside iPhones for years and will power the forthcoming HomePod.
With Alexa as a guest on Cortana, Cortana users will now have another way of making their lives easier with a great shopping experience. Say you are at work, and you receive a text from your partner saying, “We’re running low on diapers.” In the future, on your Windows 10 PC, iPhone or Android phone, you could simply say, “Hey Cortana, open Alexa,” and ask Alexa to order diapers using your preferred payment method for your Amazon account.
Let’s hope this cooperation is just the beginning and Google, Apple and Samsung join in soon. This would improve smart assistants immensely.