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Microsoft and Amazon may be competing with each other in the cloud-computing market, but in the realm of voice-controlled personal assistants, Cortana and Alexa are forging a friendship.

Back in August past year, Microsoft and Amazon have announced that they are working to integrate their digital personal assistants Cortana and Alexa into each other.

The first at-home demo of Cortana / Alexa integration is live now for SOME users.

Previously, you only had the choice of Google Assistant, Microsoft's Cortana, or "None". Details of the partnership were spelled out a bit more, but it's still in its early days as neither company was ready to announce a concrete release time. You can use Alexa to turn on smart lights at property ("Alexa, flip on the living room lamps", such as), order services and products from Amazon by voice ("Alexa, order soap") and much more.

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The demo was set in a scenario with an Echo speaker in the home and Cortana on a PC at work because Amazon is the most popular speaker in US households, and Cortana, which is available on hundreds of millions of PCs running Windows 10, is the most popular assistant in the workplace. "How can I help?"

After the Alexa-to-Cortana demo, Taylor showed off the reverse situation - calling up Alexa from Cortana. After that, it demonstrated accessing Alexa from Cortana on a Windows 10 PC. Alexa booked an Uber ride for him.

The experience is like two digital assistants inhabiting in a single device.

The integration looks like a great first step, though we'd love to see more ways to have the user invoke either assistant, and perhaps even have them proactively "interject" based on the query. This announcement, like the others, was made during Microsoft Build on the 7th of May, 2018.


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