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After a year, Amazon and Microsoft Alexa and Cortana await each other's units

Alexa and Cortana: Tech's new BFFs?

It is a prerequisite for a collaborative effort from Amazon and Microsoft that allows Alexa users to cast Cortana on their Echo Speakers . Meanwhile, you can ask Cortana to let Alexa take the steering wheel on Windows 10 devices and Cortana-powered Invoke Smart Speaker from Harman Kardon.

First announced a year ago in August 201

7 the long-awaited cooperation today lives as a public pre-trial from early entry. The idea is that each assistant is taking advantage of the strengths of others – primarily Cortan's deep access to Microsoft Outlooks email and calendar data, and Alexa's expansive smart home controls and growing third party skills. Microsoft tells us that "many" of these skills will be available at launch, more coming later in a row.

Harman Kardon Invoke Smart Speaker (left) with Amazon Echo. You can now access both Alexa and Cortana on each of them.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

"Our goal is to create seamless integration and this is our first step toward achieving that goal," says a Microsoft spokesman CNET.

Still, it's not a complete senses. You still have to ask each assistant to "open" the other before you can access the additional controls, such as in "Alexa, Open Cortana." When you do, your voice data will be held off regardless of the device you are using.

"When you open Cortana, all voice data goes to Microsoft and not Amazon, and when you open Alexa, all voice data goes to Amazon and not Microsoft," said Amazon spokesman Dawn Brun in a statement last year . [19659009] alexa-cortana “height =” 0 “width =” 270 “data-original =” https: // cnet4 .cbsistatic.com / img / NBqFy7dy4OBgriCtATZCCcPO380 = / 270×0 / 2018/08/15 / 674cb139-f4be-441d-b084-2214f8fed2cb / alexa-cortana.jpg “/>

To access Cortana on your Echo speaker, you must enable Cortana skills in the Alexa app.

Screenshot of Ry Crist / CNET

In addition, Echo users must first enable Cortana skills in their Alexa app, which includes logging in with a Microsoft account. Alexa and Cortana can be friends, but there are still obstacles that prevent them from offering a truly seamless multi-assistant experience.

When the collaboration was first announced, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told the New York Times that he predicted a future where devices would automatically forward your voice command to the assistant who best fits the task at hand, no additional invocation phrases are necessary.

"In my opinion about the world, because it would be best for the customer, it's probably what eventually happens", told Bezos Times.

Such a future would probably require support from rival voice assistants like Apple Siri, Samsung Bixby and Google Assistant. None of them have shown much movement towards cooperation during the 12 months since Amazon and the Microsoft Partnership were published first.

"Hopefully, they will be inspired by it," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in the times when he asked about Apple and Google. "At least that would be my hope."

Updated 18.8.18 at. 13.00 EST to include additional information about Cortana account connection on Amazon's Echo devices.

  http: // www. cnet.com/

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