Published On: Mon, May 7th, 2018

Microsoft shows off Alexa-Cortana integration, launches sign-up website for news

Microsoft still isn’t giving a timeline as to when a practical assistant, Cortana, will support formation with Amazon Alexa – something a companies had announced final year. But a association during a Build developer discussion currently did uncover off how that formation will work, in an on-stage demo with support from Amazon, and it launched a new website for developers meddlesome in receiving Alexa-Cortana formation news and information going forward.

When Microsoft and Amazon initial discussed integrating their practical assistants, it was described as a two-way travel – that is, Cortana could pass requests behind to Alexa, and clamp versa. For example, Alexa business would be means to entrance Cortana’s capability features, like engagement meetings, accessing work calendars, or reading work emails. Meanwhile, Cortana users could ask Alexa to control intelligent home devices, emporium Amazon, or use Alexa’s some 40,000 skills. 

But there were some concerns those commands would be awkward, and that integrations like this could be nonessential too.

At Build, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stressed a values of a some-more open system, observant “We wish to make it probable for a business to get a many out of their personal digital assistants – not be firm to some walled garden.”

Perhaps, though, what Microsoft unequivocally wants is to advantage from Alexa’s momentum.

In a brief demo, Microsoft Cortana GM Megan Saunders along with Amazon Alexa SVP Tom Taylor showed how Alexa and Cortana would work together. It didn’t demeanour utterly as unmanageable as we might have imagined.

Saunders destined her Echo orator to “open Cortana,” that saw a digital partner responding with a opposite voice, “Cortana here, how can we help?”

The knowledge seemed some-more like rising and regulating a third-party skill, rather than a array of wily written commands.

She was afterwards means to ask Cortana for information on her calendar, though carrying to contend “Cortana,” or “Alexa” again – only “how’s my day?”

And she told Cortana to “send an email to Tom Taylor observant ‘I’ll see we tonight’” – again, though carrying to authority a partner by name.

After a Alexa-to-Cortana demo, Taylor showed off a retreat conditions – job adult Alexa from Cortana.

While regulating Cortana on his PC, he pronounced to Microsoft’s Assistant, “Hey Cortana, open Alexa.” Alexa responded in her possess voice: “hi there, this is Alexa. How can we help?”

Taylor used Alexa to sequence an Uber regulating a third-party Uber ability and told her to spin off a lights.

He also asked Alexa what she suspicion of Cortana, to that Amazon’s partner replied, with her standard cheesy humor, “I like Cortana. We both have knowledge with rings, nonetheless hers is some-more of a Halo.” Oh, hardy-har-har. 

Of course, what people unequivocally wanted to hear about is when a Cortana-Alexa formation would go live, and unfortunately there was no news on that front.

Saunders referred to a knowledge as still being in a “limited beta” for a time being, though did note a launch of a new website for developers.

Developers who are building skills for Cortana and Alexa can go to this new site in sequence to pointer adult to be told when a integrations go live.

“For all of we developers out there building skills, Cortana and Alexa is going to capacitate entrance to some-more people opposite some-more devices,” pronounced Saunders. “And we can’t wait to see what we build.”

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