Alexa has a new friend: Cortana


This will bring the capabilities and uses of each digital assistant to the devices on both sides of the aisle.

"Amazon and Microsoft partnering together to allow Alexa and Cortana to recognize each other and concurrently serve users is a welcome sign", said Bradley Metrock, who is producing The Alexa Conference next January. Cortana can assist users to book a meeting, access work calendars, and read work emails.

Amazon announced on Tuesday that its Echo devices can now act as multiroom speakers using Alexa. Similarly if you want to use Cortana to order stuff from Amazon, you'll need to ask her to "Open Alexa".

Bezos reportedly first suggested the idea of a collaboration to Satya Nadella at Microsoft's CEO Summit in May 2016.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and chief executive, said Alexa and Cortana's individual strengths would complement each other thanks to their differing data sets and specialised skills. "It's great for Echo owners to get easy access to Cortana". "Hopefully, they'll be inspired by it", added Nadella.

Bezos said he also would be open to integrating with other assistants such as those made by Apple or Google, although he has not been approached to do so.

Amazon has been busy turning Alexa into an engine for e-commerce while Microsoft has, as expected, integrated Cortana into Windows and Outlook from a productivity point of view. Right now Amazon says the new feature is available to Echo device owners in just three countries, which are the US, the United Kingdom, and Germany, at least for now.

Alexa and Cortana will begin talking to each other later this year. If you won't have enough time, simply ask Alexa to open Cortana again and set a reminder for the end of your workday to drop off the clothes. As it pertains to the AI voice arena, Microsoft deserves kudos for forging an alliance with Amazon, and likewise credit goes to Amazon for being accepting of the proposition.

Now some of you might be wondering what took Amazon so long to add this kind of functionality when companies like Sonos have been doing multi-room music playback for years. However, Nedella did say that he'll welcome the companies if they do decode to join Microsoft and Amazon.