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Amazon Alexa & Microsoft Cortana Join Forces

Microsoft and Amazon have joined forces in the competitive smart assistant market, announcing ‘Cortana’ and ‘Alexa’ integration in US devices starting this week.

Demonstrated earlier this year, the development will enable Alexa devices to communicate with Cortana and vice versa.

Users can now say “Alexa, open Cortana” to query their [Microsoft-based] work schedule, send an email and more.

As an added sweetener, users will not have to say “Open Cortana” before every command.

On the other hand, consumers can call upon Amazon’s assistant on their Windows 10 PC – “Hey Cortana, open Alexa’ – to access Alexa skills e.g. order a Domino’s pizza.

Integration is currently limited to Amazon Echo speakers, Harman Kardon Invoke speakers and Windows 10 devices, with compatibility for Android and iOS devices reportedly coming soon.

When queried by the Times last year, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, expressed hope that Microsoft and Amazon’s unity would “inspire” other tech giants – e.g. Google and Apple.

As per CNBCrecent numbers claim Amazon’s Alexa has over 45,000 developer skills, with Microsoft’s Cortana around 250.

No word has been provided concerning international roll-out.

Both Amazon and Microsoft will be using consumer feedback to improve integration, as part of its initial ‘preview’.

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