The two tech giants Amazon and Microsoft just announced that the users of their virtual assistants could access each other’s features.
The integration gives Alexa and Cortana greater powers as they compete with Apple’s Siri and Alphabet’s Google Assistant.
For instance, a Cortana user is now able to order other products off Amazon or manage existing orders using voice instructions.
Someone with an Echo can also set up new calendar events and respond to emails with Cortana’s help.
A year ago, Amazon and Microsoft announced the plan
This comes a year after the companies revealed their plan for their assistants to be able to communicate with each other and three months after Microsoft explained how the integration would work.
CNBC notes that “While Apple’s Siri predated Alexa and Cortana, both of which showed up in 2014, Siri has come to be lacking in capabilities by comparison as more developers have sought to develop third-party integrations with other assistants. Alexa has more than 45,000 “skills” that developers have come out with, while Cortana has more than 250. And Amazon has the lead when it comes to smart speaker device shipments.”
Amazon and Microsoft are currently rolling out the integration to everyone in the U.S. as a public preview.
Users of Amazon Echo devices are able to access Cortana via Alexa and Windows 10 PC and Samsung Harman Cardon Invoke speaker owners are able to get to Alexa straight from Cortana.
The two companies plan to ask users to provide them with feedback so that they will be able to improve this whole integration.