Alexa is inside of Cortana and Cortana is inside of Alexa. (Oh behave!) Maybe this is one of those instances where the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Or perhaps it’s more like two heads are better than one or the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Whatever cliche you want to use, it looks like Amazon and Microsoft are joining forces to deliver you the Voltron of voice assistants.

At the company’s Build 2018 conference earlier today, Microsoft announced that its digital assistant, Cortana, would be integrating with Amazon’s Alexa. They’ve indicated this before, but now the development appears to be a little further along.

Basically, what this partnership means is that you’ll be able to access Alexa through your Cortana-enabled devices and vice versa. In effect, both digital assistants can coexist within the same device. There will naturally be some cross-platform communication, but the extent of this (particularly for privacy reasons) remains to be seen.

At the Build 2018 event, Microsoft GM for product development (3D for Everyone) Megan Saunders took the stage with an Amazon Echo. She then used Alexa on the Echo to call up Cortana, following by getting Cortana to access her schedule and send an email. On the flip side, Amazon SVP of Alexa Tom Taylor used Cortana on a Windows desktop to call up Alexa. Then, he was able to ask for an Uber and turn off the on-stage lights.


So, it works. The Cortana-Alexa cross-integration is currently in a limited beta. You can hit up the official page on Microsoft’s site to sign up for future notifications.

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