The competition in the personal assistant sector is so tough that there seems to be no room for friends; except that Amazon and Microsoft just demonstrated just that.
Alexa and Cortana are two of the most leading personal assistants, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Amazon is having a lot of success with Alexa and devices such as Echo, Cortana has expanded more quickly and has the advantage of residing in your computers with Windows and why not enjoy the best of both devices?
That is what was announced almost a year ago, and that today it has finally become a reality; in the form of a previous version that is currently available only to US users. But as Alexa expands into the rest of the world, it is hoped that we can enjoy this integration.
The agreement between the two giants means that we can call Alexa inside Cortana, and vice versa, according to CNET. Therefore, we can say “Alexa, open Cortana”, or “Hey Cortana, open Alexa”, and we will use the other personal assistant … more or less.
When we give those orders, the corresponding assistant will start listening to us, and it will behave as if we had opened it in a native device, with some limitations. Both assistants will be invoked as “skills”, voice applications that are executed from the assistant.
The idea is that we can use functions that are unique to each attendee. For example, from an Amazon Echo we can access functions related to Windows or Office, such as controlling our computer. And from our PC with Windows 10 we can access Alexa’s skills and control our Internet of Things devices.
For the moment, even the companies themselves recognize that integration can be improved; It shows clearly when we jump from one assistant to another. But they are already working so that accessing the functions of one and the other is more direct and simple.
It is peculiar that two large companies like Microsoft and Amazon have decided to collaborate in this way; and it is worth wondering how long they will last together, and if the future will lead them along the same path.