Hey Cortana, open Alexa: Microsoft and Amazon's first-of-its-kind collaboration

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Hey Cortana, open Alexa: Microsoft and Amazon's first-of-its-kind collaboration

Microsoft's chief executive Satya Nadella has referred to Cortana's integration with Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite, widely used in business environments, which would now be available to those with Amazon Echo devices. The companies have been giants in the reach as Microsoft has around 145 million active monthly Cortana users that use the Windows 10 while Amazon succeeded in selling the Echo to many people, this year. The release of the Amazon Echo three years ago in the USA kickstarted the nascent smart speaker industry, which has since spawned competition in the form of Google Home and Apple's forthcoming HomePod, which are all powered by the company's respective helpers.

Later this year, Alexa and Cortana will be able to talk to one another. On the flip side, Cortana users can now ask Alexa to access and control smart home devices in your home, as well as placing orders on Amazon.

Mr Bezos said: "The world is big and so multifaceted". Nadella echoed a similar sentiment, stating that both companies will hopefully be inspired by Microsoft's partnership with Amazon.

Amazon's Echo speakers are about to get a lot more useful. But I don't just use one digital assistant.

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.

Alexa will be able to communicate with Cortana, and vice versa. Microsoft and Amazon are planning to fully detail their partnership later today. We're proud of the work we've done together as Amazon's first multi-room partner - all you'll need is an Alexa-enabled device and playing music out loud on Sonos will be as easy as saying "Alexa, play music in the living room'".

Even so, it still seems odd that these two will partner up.

Major tech companies like Microsoft and Apple have created their own artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistants. Meanwhile, Google's Assistant is now in smartphones and in its Home smart speaker. That is highly unlikely at this point since Apple's Siri and Google Assistant are deeply rooted in their respective proprietary mobile operating systems, iOS and Android.

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