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Amazon and Microsoft teamup

Amazon and Microsoft teamed up on their AI voice assistants


Amazon and Microsoft on Wednesday announced a new partnership aimed at better integrating each company’s digital assistant.

Amazon’s voice-powered helper Alexa will now be capable of activating Microsoft’s Cortana, and vice-versa.

“Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a press release, according to CNBC.

“Bringing Cortana’s knowledge, Office 365 integration, commitments, and reminders to Alexa is a great step toward that goal,” he added.

Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, meanwhile, said in a press release his company is excited to pair Cortana with its technology.

“It’s great for Echo owners to get easy access to Cortana,” he said, referencing Amazon’s smart speaker released in 2014 alongside Alexa.

“There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas,” Bezos continued.

“Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience.”

CNBC reported that Amazon customers will ultimately become capable of using Alexa to access Cortana exclusive features like the digital assistant’s work calendars.

Microsoft customers, meanwhile, will gain the ability to have Cortana ask Alexa to order products from Amazon.

CNBC additionally reported that Cortana users will become able to control their smart home devices as well.

Microsoft announced Cortana in May 2015, releasing the intelligent personal assistant for its Windows Phone product.

Amazon, for its part, revealed Alexa in conjunction with the Echo in November 2014, with the digital assistant connecting to the device.

Alexa and Cortana are two of many options in the increasingly crowded intelligent personal assistant field.

Other major players in the software agent market include Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant, both of which make extensive use of their parent company’s technology catalog.

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