Microsoft demonstrates Alexa and Cortana integration

Microsoft first announced its Alexa and Cortana integration last year, and the company is providing an update today. Despite falling behind both Google Assistant and Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana will now include access to Amazon’s digital assistant. At Microsoft’s Build conference today, the software maker demonstrated Cortana running on Alexa and vice versa.

The integration works by simply summoning Cortana with the command “Alexa, open Cortana.” You can then ask follow-up questions or commands like “send an email” to a particular person that you wouldn’t normally be able to do with Alexa alone. Likewise, you can bring up Alexa within the Cortana interface on Windows 10 and get access the skills that Alexa offers.

Microsoft and Amazon are still working on this integration, and the company has a limited beta test running at the moment. Neither company is committing to exactly when end users will be able to enable this, but Microsoft has launched a site to sign up for more information on when Alexa and Cortana integration is live.

Comments

That was fun!

I don’t see Amazon or Microsoft losing anything here…

BTW Show the video!

I can see myself using this since I own a HK Cortana speaker. I got it precisely for this feature and the easy Spotify integration (it also supports Bluetooth). I find Alexa to be good for home automations and skills since it has more dev support; whereas Cortana has better cloud integration with productivity suites and Windows (PC).

Sounds like an exercise in UX design failure, Microsoft’s speciality.

I’m sure that on a technical level both services could easily add support for an additional hotword, and the logic to discriminate between them. There are probably business reasons that are limiting that for now. While it might be a little clunky, it’s nice to have the option to use either service without having to buy another device.

Yeah, I would bet money on business being the limiting factor here, not technology.

Yea its implementation is like textbook example of botched voice UX implementation

Did they say anything about linking an Xbox in on that? I’ve been missing voice controls since getting the One X (notably "Xbox On" and occasion volume controls when my headset and remote have simultaneously managed to escape my immediate reach once again), and would love to see some sort of control of the Xbox’s Cortana through the Echo in the room.

No they didn’t unfortunately. These demonstrations were primarily shown from a PC device and the Cortana speaker. But I’d love just such a change myself.

I have the Xbox One 2013 version ("Xbox One" is such a stupid name, btw. I can’t really type "Original Xbox One" or "First-gen Xbox One" without it first sounding like the OG Xbox (2001).
Anyway, I’ve thought about buying the Xbox One X, but it requires a stupid adapter to use Kinect, and it costs a ridiculous amount now.

I now almost can’t imagine not being able to turn on/off, pause/play, volume up/down, open apps, etc. without my voice. It’s so freaking convenient.

Launch X1 is what I usually go for. Yea, I happened to get an adaptor for an unrelated reason way back. Didn’t end up using it as I had intended, but I can hook it up to my One X now. The problem is that the adaptor seems to lose connection fairly often, which is frustrating. Having the ability to attach a better microphone to my xbox and do the Cortana stuff would be awesome. Not gonna work with controlling Kinect games, of course, but the voice stuff would be a big step up.

No but I believe there has been a fire tv/echo hybrid rumored for awhile. That might "solve" some of this. That or Microsoft can put a damn mic in their controller.

Apocalipse AI ready!

the integration could be better but i don’t see anything but good things from this for both Amazon and Microsoft.

I wish I wouldn’t have to know which assistant can do which task.

Maybe Apple should hop on board.

NOPE. Apple is doing just fine and doesn’t need to team up with a competitor.

If by fine you mean Siri is the worst of all the assistants then yes, I agree with you.

It works for what I use it for so it’s fine for me. Don’t really care what others use it for or don’t. Anyway by fine I mean Siri is great and wake me up when MS has folks lining up to buy its products and when it’s the most valuable tech company in the world.

Boy/Girl bye!

I’m sure your pre-2008 phone also worked for what you used it for. Why’d you ever upgrade?

What they still aren’t going to partner with them. They are competitors not friends

Ahhhh, the good ol’ "it works for me so it’s all good" nonsense. I wonder where the world would be if everyone thought like that

In a much better place instead of people on both sides vilifying anyone they don’t agree with.

Nope, we’d probably still be riding steam engine cars.

Pollution, terrible traffic and global warming are awesome outcomes of two cars for every household! That model is definitely going to scale to China, India and Africa.

Leaned from mistakes and moving on to electric cars. But hey, keep fixating on something that bothers you… I tend to look at positives and learn from mistakes.
If you hate progress so much then why are you here? Using a gadget connected to internet?

View All Comments
Back to top ↑