Two giant companies, Microsoft and Amazon had announced partnership in August 2017 to integrate Alexa and Cortana digital assistants. Both of these companies were supposed to make their respective digital assistants available on each other’s platforms. The main aim of the deal was to allow users to access Microsoft’s Cortana assistant on an Amazon Echo, or Alexa on any Windows 10 PC. The companies had stated that the cross-platform features would roll out by the end of 2017, but they have yet to make good on that deadline.
While Microsoft and Amazon had formed a close partnership, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Amazon, Jeff Bezos had also welcomed Apple and Google to offer an integration of a like manner, saying that he would support it. Bezos had stated in a press statement that, “There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas.”
Jeff Bezos also added that “Together, their strengths will complement each other.” The Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, Satya Nadella had also appeared to welcome the idea of collaboration with Apple and Google. “Hopefully, they’ll be inspired by it,” he had said in an interview to The New York Times.
Reports were published in August that someone using an Alexa device will have to say “Alexa, open Cortana” to access Microsoft’s digital assistant, and someone using Cortana will have to say “Cortana, open Alexa” to talk to Amazon’s digital assistant. Both companies seem to have created skills on each other’s platforms to enable the integration. The coming assistant harmony is surprising, especially given Amazon’s recent feuds with Google and Apple, but at the very least, Amazon is working things out with Microsoft. Windows 10 users will first be able to access Alexa via Cortana on their PC, followed by Android and iOS.