Cortana and Alexa Integration Launches in Public Preview

Posted on August 15, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Amazon, Microsoft with 17 Comments

Microsoft and Amazon are Partnering on Cortana and Alexa Integration (Updated x 2)

Just about one year ago, Microsoft and Amazon announced a major partnership: both the companies are teaming up to integrate their virtual assistants, Alexa and Cortana. With the partnership, Alexa users will be able to summon Cortana on their speaker or any other device, and Cortana users would be able to use Alexa on their device.

After months of wait and delays, the integration is finally launching today. Both the companies are announcing the integration’s availability in public preview, letting users use both the personal assistants on their device. With the public preview, users will be able to use Alexa on their Cortana device, including the Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker, their Windows 10 PC, the Cortana app on Android and iOS, just by simply saying “Hey Cortana, open Alexa.” Similarly, on devices powered by Alexa, including Amazon’s Echo speakers, users will be able to summon Cortana by saying “Alexa, open Cortana.”

“This integration will allow Cortana users to ask Alexa to shop on Amazon, manage their Amazon orders and access many of Alexa’s third-party skills. Alexa users will have access to Cortana’s knowledge and helpful productivity features such as calendar management, day at a glance and rich email integration,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Thurrott.com. Microsoft says the companies will launch “additional skills and features” in the future.

Most of the basic features of Alexa and Cortana do overlap here, but Amazon’s huge collection of Alexa Skills will be a big addition to Cortana. As for Alexa users, Microsoft says Cortana’s knowledge, as well as calendar management and rich email integration, will come in handy for Alexa users. Either way, the integration is being rolled out starting today, and it will be available to users over the coming days.

The integration is only available to users in the United States and will be accessible by users “who are interested in early access.”

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Comments (18)

18 responses to “Cortana and Alexa Integration Launches in Public Preview”

  1. Avatar

    woelfel

    Good...now I have my Invoke which won't be "left behind" in features. Sure, it's clunky having to "open Alexa" but still, money not wasted and I have the best sounding smart speaker.

  2. Avatar

    roastedwookie

    :))) why on earth would I be using Cortana to control Alexa? :)))))

  3. Avatar

    bleeman

    I've been waiting for this. While I have a house full of Echo Dots, Spots, and Shows quite often while they work great for turning devices on and off, jokes, stories, etc. their search capabilities suck. I get so sick and tired of "Hmm, I don't know that" or "Hmm, I'm not sure". So in the past I've often gone to my computer and asked the exact same thing of Cortana and she always gives me the information I'm looking for. For example, after setting up the link tonight my wife was watching CSI:Miami repeats. I recognized the actress Maggie Grace in the episode. However, for the life of me I couldn't remember her name. Asked Alexa and got the "Hmm, I don't know that". Asked Alexa to Open Cortana and used the same phrase, "Who played Liam Niessen's daughter in the Taken Movies", Cortana came back with a complete cast listing and I got her name. That's just today's example, I use that feature a lot with my PC, but now I don't have to lug my Surface from room to room, I can just get Cortana. Yay!


    And to answer what might be an obvious question, I had invested in the Echo devices before Cortana was available on anything other than a PC, otherwise I'd probably have several Invokes instead.

  4. Avatar

    chriscarstens

    I say we call her Alexithymia, as in


    alexithymia

    [əˌleksəˈTHīmēə]

    NOUN

    psychiatry

    1. the inability to recognize or describe one's own emotions.
    2. "alexithymia has been linked to depression and suicidal behavior"


  5. Avatar

    rtodd_us

    Xbox integration? Would love to use the voice recognition of an Alexa as opposed to kinect.

  6. Avatar

    Briggzcountry

    They need to just combine them into a single seamless "person" .... and call her Alana...

  7. Avatar

    gregsedwards

    I didn't see Alexa in my available Cortana skills this morning. However, I got in via the Alexa app on my iPhone. I added Cortana as a skill, which required me to link to my Microsoft account. Once I had that working, I refreshed the Cortana skills page on my PC and Alexa appeared as an available skill, which in turn required me to link my Amazon account. Not sure whether there was any cause-and-effect there or it was just coincidental timing, but it might be worth a try.

  8. Avatar

    jchampeau

    This seems like the kind of thing tech-minded folks will use once to see if it works and not use again after that. And the rest of the world will never know about.

  9. Avatar

    Tony Barrett

    Well, that's the end of Cortana then. Amazon only entered this 'partnership' for their own benefit, MS entered it to try and stay relevant in the personal assistant space. There's only one company that's going to benefit from this!

  10. Avatar

    ponsaelius

    Me: "Alexa, Open Cortana"


    Alexa: "I can't find that skill"


    Me: "Alexa, thanks for your help. I forgot I was in the UK and it will be a few years before Cortana gets here....."



  11. Avatar

    itmaster68

    any links to opt-in?

  12. Avatar

    SherlockHolmes

    Things the world dont need.

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