Now, the Amazon spokesperson says Bezos's company would consider striking bot partnerships with additional companies "if a developer has a great AI and is interested".
But today, finally, almost a year after it was first announced, Amazon and Microsoft are claiming that their rollout of the digital assistant collaboration has begun. On August 15, the pair are taking the next step in this process, by opening up initial integration between Cortana and Alexa to the public, beginning in the US.
The ability to stream music and set alarms across digital assistants are skills that are not available yet. With the public preview, users will be able to use Alexa on their Cortana device, including the Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker, their Windows 10 PC, the Cortana app on Android and iOS, just by simply saying "Hey Cortana, open Alexa". But Cortana is more reserved and profesh, since she works with Microsoft products like Outlook. To summon Alexa on a Windows 10 computer, it's the other way around: say "Cortana, open Alexa" to play Jeopardy, add items to your shopping list, check your Amazon order status or to control your smart home devices.
Updated It has taken the best part of a year, but from today Microsoft fans can talk to Cortana through the vaguely creepy ears of Amazon's Echo devices and vice versa.More news: As rupee sinks to historic low, Modi govt blames 'external factors'
Today, Amazon and Microsoft are officially unveiling the Alexa/Cortana integration.
It's been a long time coming, but Microsoft's Cortana and Amazon's Alexa are finally working together.
"Once you open Cortana, all voice data goes to Microsoft and not Amazon, and once you open Alexa, all voice data goes to Amazon and not Microsoft", said Amazon spokeswoman Dawn Brun in a statement previous year.
Most of the basic features of Alexa and Cortana do overlap here, but Amazon's huge collection of Alexa Skills will be a big addition to Cortana. The integration also brings access to Alexa's large library of skills. But I just don't see most people thinking about relying on different digital assistants for different types of tasks.