Microsoft and Amazon’s integration of their digital personal assistants is getting closer, the companies demonstrated at a Microsoft technology conference Monday, though they still don’t have a date for public availability.
Microsoft’s artificial intelligence assistant Cortana spoke through the Amazon Echo on stage at Microsoft’s Build conference Monday, showing the working combination of the two companies’ technology.
After asking Amazon’s AI assistant Alexa to add items to her shopping list, Megan Saunders, Microsoft’s general manager of Cortana, shifted into work mode.
“Alexa, open Cortana,” Saunders commanded the Echo. Cortana chimed in, to advise Saunders on her calendar appointments for the day.
Also on stage at Microsoft Build on Monday, CEO Satya Nadella introduced Amazon senior vice president Tom Taylor, who oversees Alexa. Taylor demonstrated how he could access both Alexa and Cortana on his PC.
Microsoft and Amazon announced plans last August to allow their AI assistants to talk to each other – a move between the competitors that surprised many. The idea is that Alexa is mostly used at home, and Cortana is mostly used at work, so people should be able to use both from the same device for different tasks.
Most Read Stories
- Special sunglasses, license-plate dresses: How to be anonymous in the age of surveillance WATCH
- The DEA seized her father's life savings at an airport without alleging any crime occurred, lawsuit says
- Move it or lose it, King County tells Lake Sammamish homeowners over structures in trail corridor
- Snohomish County elementary school teacher found dead from hypothermia
- Downtown Seattle Barnes & Noble store to close Saturday
The companies have been quiet on the partnership since its initial unveiling, and they didn’t debut the Alexa-Cortana service by the end of last year, as they originally said they would.
The integration is still in private beta, Microsoft said Monday, and does not have a public launch date. People can sign up online to get more information about timing of the launch: aka.ms/cortana_alexa