Integration between Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana announced

Amazon and Microsoft collaborate to help Alexa and Cortana talk to each other

Austin Clark | 31st Aug 17

Charities looking to harness the power of voice activated digital assistants have been given a boost after Amazon and Microsoft announced they will be encouraging interoperability between the Alexa and Cortana platforms.

Alexa customers will be able to access Cortana’s unique features like booking a meeting or accessing work calendars, reminding you to pick up flowers on your way home, or reading your work email – all using just your voice. Similarly, Cortana customers can ask Alexa to control their smart home devices, shop on, interact with many of the more than 20,000 skills built by third-party developers, and much more.

Charities are starting to show an appetite for the technology. Earlier this year, for example, Charity Digital News reported on the fact that the British Red Cross has launched a new app to allow members of the public to access step-by-step first aid advice in their home.

The Alexa Skill will use spoken instructions to teach people a range of skills, including how to treat a severe bleed, a burn and a seizure.

“Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Bringing Cortana’s knowledge, Office 365 integration, commitments, and reminders to Alexa is a great step toward that goal.”

“The world is big and so multifaceted. There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas. Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon. “It’s great for Echo owners to get easy access to Cortana.”

Alexa and Cortana will begin talking to each other later this year.