You Can Now Talk to Alexa Using Cortana

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For now, Alexa will work in the US on Windows 10 devices and Harman Kardon Invoke speakers, while Cortana will work on Amazon devices such as the Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, and Echo Spot. On a compatible Windows 10 PC or a Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker, you can say "Hey Cortana, open Alexa", and you'll be able to shop on Amazon or control some smart appliances. The collaboration between the two assistants was announced a year ago and was originally due to become available by the end of 2017. Many of Alexa's third-party skills will be available to Cortana users, but not all, though that's supposed to change in the future. Likewise, Cortana will be available on Amazon Echo devices like Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, and Echo Spot.

The Verge reports that Microsoft and Amazon have released a wider public preview of its previously teased deeper integration between the Alexa and Cortana digital assistants - available for everyone in the U.S. right now.

That isn't exactly the most seamless of integrations-it adds one more step between activating the virtual assistant and having it do what you want-but it will make Cortana and Alexa available on more devices.

That's the premise behind a cooperative effort from Amazon and Microsoft that lets Alexa users cue up Cortana on their Echo speakers.

"The goal is to have two integrated digital assistants who can carry out tasks across different dimensions of daily life", Microsoft's Jennifer Langston told The Verge. In recent months, Cortana-Alexa integration has been in testing inside Microsoft and with select Amazon users.

The feature, as is frustratingly the norm, is US-only at present and doesn't yet allow music to be streamed or alarms to be set. More details will be released in the coming days, the spokesperson said.

The idea is to capitalize on each company's strength - Amazon's in consumer technology, and Microsoft's in workplace software.

Amazon has launched its own Alexa for Business service which seems to be able to do numerous types of tasks which Cortana is being created to optimize.

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