Microsoft, Amazon team up their A.I. voice assistants with new partnership

Big 5

Amazon and Microsoft announced Wednesday a new partnership that will allow better integration between the tech titans’ two digital assistants.

Amazon’s voice-powered digital assistant Alexa will now be able to activate Microsoft’s own assistant Cortana, and vice versa. The partnership means Amazon customers can use Alexa to access Cortana’s exclusive features such as accessing work calendars, while Microsoft customers can use Cortana to ask Alexa to order products from Amazon or control their smart home devices.

“Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, in a press release Wednesday.

“Bringing Cortana’s knowledge, Office 365 integration, commitments, and reminders to Alexa is a great step toward that goal.”

Amazon’s personal assistant Alexa was first announced in November 2014 alongside the Echo, Amazon’s smart speaker. Meanwhile, Cortana was announced by Microsoft in May 2015 and released for its Windows Phone product.

“There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas. Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience,” Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, said in a press release.

“It’s great for Echo owners to get easy access to Cortana.”

Source: CNBC