At its Build developer conference, Microsoft further detailed how Microsoft's Cortana and Amazon's Alexa will work together. In November, Amazon announced Alexa for Business, a focus that takes it more squarely into territory held by Cortana and Microsoft Office.
But there were some concerns those commands would be awkward, and that integrations like this could be unnecessary too.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said (via GeekWire): "We want to make it possible for our customers to get the most out of their personal assistants, not be bound to a single one".
Megan Saunders, a Microsoft general manager, was joined by Amazon Alexa Senior Vice President Tom Taylor. It didn't look quite as unwieldy as you may have imagined. The person at her home had an Amazon Echo speaker at her kitchen.
Alexa is the preferred assistant of some because of the thousands of skills available. After that, a user can follow-up questions and commands such as "send an email", something which you wouldn't be able to do while using Alexa alone.
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In fact, to celebrate May The Fourth Be With You's "Star Wars Day" (because that's what it is), Amazon has added a few things to Alexa to celebrate the Star Wars fan-person in all of us.
Microsoft at Build 2018 finally revived its AI-based assistant, Cortana. The response that came was "Cortana here, how can I help". Alexa booked an Uber ride for him.
He also asked Alexa what she thought of Cortana, to which Amazon's assistant replied, with her typical cheesy humor, "I like Cortana. We both have experience with light rings, although hers is more of a Halo", a reference to the Xbox video series with an AI Cortana is named after. Oh, hardy-har-har.
The first at-home demo of Cortana / Alexa integration is live now for SOME users. Or you could ask Cortana to open Alexa, and use Alexa on devices such as your PC.
Either way you choose to access your settings, you will see a list of available assistants.