Alexa and Cortana join forces to take on Google Assistant and Siri

The New York Times got an exclusive interviews with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella ahead of today's press release announcing that Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana will be able to talk to each other.

That means you'll be able to tap into Alexa's smarts via Cortana on Windows 10 PCs and Microsoft's mobile Cortana apps, or access Cortana via Amazon's Echo devices and Alexa-enabled phones like the HTC U11 and Huawei Mate 9. Don't forget about Samsung's new Bixby, the voice-assistant is sure to catch up over the next few weeks, but the rollout here in the States was much later than the previous voice-assistants mentioned above. The concept of bringing the platform's knowledge as well as Office 365 integration and reminders to Alexa proved to be a good step in the achievement of that objective.

"The world is big and so multifaceted", said Bezos.

The New York Times reports that Microsoft and Amazon partnered in May past year, after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos raised the idea with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at Microsoft's CEO summit. But, Nadella and Bezos remain hopeful. While Microsoft is still tempting developers to create their own Cortana skills, existing Cortana users will be able to call up Alexa to get access to the ones that Cortana is missing.

"Say you are at work, and you receive a text from your partner saying, 'We're running low on diapers, '" Microsoft says in its announcement post.

With this partnership users will be able to Invoke Alexa using Cortana and also use Cortana Skills with Alexa. Part of the reason something like this could happen is because Amazon does not compete in the same productivity space that Microsoft does, for which Cortana (and now by extension, Alexa) acts as a bridge.

In a statement, Microsoft announced, "Cortana users will now have another way of making their lives easier with a great shopping experience". Meanwhile, Google's Assistant is now in smartphones and in its Home smart speaker. Apple's Siri has been the digital assistant inside iPhones for years and will power the forthcoming HomePod.

As the artificial intelligence war heats up, Amazon and Microsoft have made a decision to join forces in hopes of getting the edge over competition from Apple and Google. Spotify and SiriusXM are coming soon, Amazon says.

  • Latoya Cobb