Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
Sci-tech | By Bennie Mills

Microsoft shows Cortana and Amazon's Alexa working together at Build

Microsoft shows Cortana and Amazon's Alexa working together at Build

Microsoft and Amazon have announced the first fruits of plans to integrate the Cortana and Alexa personal assistants. Now, when you select Alexa from your phone's Assist and voice input settings, you'll be able to hold down your home button and activate it, much like you can already with the Google Assistant.

The process itself also seemed too convoluted - asking Alexa to "open Cortana", for example, then waiting a beat before then asking Cortana a question.

In the first demonstration of this pairing, Alexa seemed able to run through the same interface as Cortana fairly seamlessly, and vice-versa.

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The reaction, as shown above, obviously received applause from the crowd who clearly understand the Halo reference stated within Alexa's reply. And with that, the Alexa is tied into Cortana where you can then access calendar event or even compose an email.

Microsoft at Build 2018 finally revived its AI-based assistant, Cortana. That's a small price to pay for the integration of both digital assistants you work and play with almost every day, right?

Excited about what partnering with other digital Assistants can and might bring or do? Take a look at this demo by Megan Saunders, Cortana GM and Tom Taylor SVP Amazon Alexa in this video. You can't say "Alexa" to wake the assistant, and you won't be able to carry out more complicated actions such as pulling up a map or making a call.

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The companies have been quiet on the partnership since its initial unveiling, and they didn't debut the Alexa-Cortana service by the end of past year, as they originally said they would.

Taylor used Alexa to order an Uber using the third-party Uber skill and told her to turn off the lights. But the only other option was to opt for Microsoft's Cortana (if you have the Cortana app installed). You can sign up with Microsoft to receive updates about Cortana and Alexa working together.

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