You Can Preview Cortana and Alexa's Budding Romance Now

Alexa and Cortana Amazon’s and Microsoft’s digital assistants will now work on each other’s devices by letting one assistant summon the other

Starting today, U.S. -based users who want "early access to the collaboration" can start talking to Cortana via their Echo devices and to Alexa on Windows 10 devices and Harman Kardon Invoke speakers, which are powered by Cortana.

Alexa will be able to summon Cortana and vice versa using the new integration from Microsoft and Amazon.

In August 2017 Microsoft and Amazon announced that the Amazon Alexa voice assistant will soon offer a Cortana skill, allowing Echo owners to access information which is only available via Microsoft's own voice assistant service. Either way, the integration is being rolled out starting today, and it will be available to users over the coming days. The idea is that each assistant stands to benefit from the other's strengths - primarily Cortana's deep access to Microsoft Outlook's email and calendar data, and Alexa's expansive smart home controls and growing library of third-party skills.

Since this rollout is still just a preview, you won't be able to access some of the assistants' features on the other company's devices. Then, by saying, "Hey Cortana, open Alexa" to your Windows 10 PC, you can tell Cortana to ask Alexa to book you that DryBar appointment to make sure your hair is on point for your Cortana-scheduled events. But things went silent after the initial announcement, until Microsoft and Amazon executives debuted a working demo onstage at Microsoft's developers conference in Seattle in May.

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"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.

After months of wait and delays, the integration is finally launching today.

What's most intriguing - and refreshing - about this move by Amazon and Microsoft is that it's so unexpected. Both the companies are announcing the integration's availability in public preview, letting users use both the personal assistants on their device. The plan is to enable more device types and skills over time, Microsoft officials said. "And because Alexa is always getting smarter, the experience will get better the more you use it".

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