Microsoft’s Still Working On Cortana/Alexa Integration, No Timeline for Release

Posted on March 6, 2018 by Brad Sams in Hardware, Microsoft Consumer Services with 18 Comments

It was in August of 2017 that Microsoft and Amazon announced a partnership that would allow the two digital assistants to have a playdate. Both companies said the cross-talk feature would be enabled by the end of 2017 but as we all know, that didn’t happen.

When I pinged Microsoft and Amazon about the missed deadline earlier this year, both companies said the functionality would be enabled “soon” but soon apparently that means more than two months time. But, for those looking hope on the horizon, the functionality will eventually arrive as the company stated today that they are continuing to test the feature.

On the Windows Insider podcast this afternoon, the team said, at the 1h 5min mark, that the internally, employees are now testing the feature via self-hosting but we don’t have any update on a release timeline. While we would love to know when this functionality will be enabled, considering both companies have been quiet about the feature, I was worried that it may have quietly been killed; at least we now know that it is still on the agenda.

There were a few other announcements during the podcast but one notable item is that “Hey Cortana” will soon be shortened to simply Cortana, and if you have an Invoke, it can now read messages from Outlook on Windows 10.

Considering that Cortana has a new VP, I’d expect the see the expansion of the digital AI to become more aggressive. That being said, this mentality should have been adopted from the start as Microsoft now finds itself behind Amazon and Google in the personal digital assistant race.

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