Cortana, Meet Alexa: Digital Assistants Will Talk to Each Other

Ocado has plumped to use rival Amazon's device

Ocado has plumped to use rival Amazon's device

"The world is big and so multifaceted. Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience", Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, said in a press release. It all seems counterintuitive at first glance because we're looking at two voice assistants that have overlapping capabilities.

Users will be able to say "Alexa, Open Cortana" followed by their command such as "When is the next budget review" which is only available to Microsoft's AI.

When asked if Google or Apple had been invited to add their respective digital assistants to the effort, Bezos said he hadn't reached out to the companies and didn't know if they would be open to the idea.

Less than a third (29%) of Brits say they would like to own a device such as Google Home or Amazon Echo in future, with 61% of respondents saying they are reluctant to hand these companies more data than they now hold. You'll also be able to check up on your Cortana reminders or read your work e-mail.

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Features The Shade has a 1,000-contact phone book with room in each entry for four phone numbers and two e-mail addresses. There's a four-way toggle with a central OK button, two soft keys, a speakerphone button, and a camera shutter.

Asking Alexa to open Cortana and vice versa will launch the rival assistant once it's available later this year, meaning the companies have effectively built skills (the smart speaker equivalent of apps) for each other's platform.

Microsoft is lagging far behind Amazon in opening up Cortana to third-party developers via its own Skills Kit. That said, both Cortana and Alexa can be equally efficient in pulling off a variety of other tasks as well, like playing a specific song or booking the cab and such. Alexa devices will now have access to Cortana's more business-oriented features and integration with Office products, like work calendars and scheduling reminders.

More details of the partnership will be released later this week and we'll report with more news as it comes in. Amazon wants you to be able to control things, yeah, but the end goal is for you to have access to Amazon with your voice no matter which electronics maker you prefer. Meanwhile Google has billions of Android users who could potentially use "Ok Google" or the new Google Assistant. The multi-room feature as Amazon is calling it, will let you connect more than one Echo speaker together and let you synchronize your music streaming so that it plays along on both speakers, or all speakers if you have more than two.