The virtual assistants of Amazon and Microsoft will be able to “talk to each other.” Users will be able to ask Alexa to open Cortana, or vice versa. While Alexa can handle smart home devices and Amazon purchases, Cortana could be asked to update a calendar or read emails.
“Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in the release. “Bringing Cortana’s knowledge, Office 365 integration, commitments and reminders to Alexa is a great step toward that goal.”
It’s a bit early to tell if this major partnership will stand alone, or if it will convince others, such as Apple and Google, to do the same. Both Nadella and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told The New York Times they hoped both companies would be open to being involved.
Alexa and Cortana will be able to interact with each other “later this year.”