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Microsoft and Amazon have joined their voice assistants

31 August, 2017, 01:19 | Author: Lloyd Doyle
  • Amazon’s Alexa family Echo Tap Fire TV Echo and Echo Dot

In a surprising move, the two companies today announced plans to allow the Alexa and Cortana digital assistants to talk to each other.

Amazon will also release the Alexa Voice Services Multi-Room Music SDK early next year.

"Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us", said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, in a recent statement.

Digital assistants are precursors to true artificial intelligence (AI), or machines that can react like humans through learning, reasoning, and self-correction. Here are a couple of use cases.

While the domain of digital assistants have largely been walled gardens to this point, Microsoft and Amazon are actively promoting how Cortana and Alexa work better together thanks to their focus on different aspects of your life. And if you're at your Windows 10 laptop and want to.I don't know.order some detergent without just navigating to Amazon.com like a normal person, you'll say "Hey Cortana, open Alexa", and order as you would on an Alexa-enabled device.


Microsoft has partnered with Harman Kardon to create the Cortana-controlled Invoke speaker, which is due to go on sale in the United States in the autumn. Because Microsoft controls both products, Outlook is integrated more deeply with Cortana than with other voice assistants. Amazon is now the leader in the space, with Echo devices representing 70% of sales for smart speakers, according to the New York Times. The announcement didn't mention Windows 10 Mobile or the Xbox One, but it makes sense to target first the most important devices in the Windows 10 ecosystem.

HomePod will take Amazon Echo and Google Home, which have been building momentum in the market for voice-controlled speakers capable of controlling smart appliances, fetching content from the internet and more.

"Together", he continued, "their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience". Amazon and Microsoft announced this surprise collaboration this morning.

The new partnership throws a wrinkle into the narrative of the emerging world of voice assistants, where Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Apple have been competing to build the operating system of the future.

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