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Technology / AI and automation

Alexa, Cortana tie-up stalls as Microsoft & Amazon miss integration deadline

Amazon and Microsoft have ‘missed’ the integration due date for their planned Cortana and Alexa tie-up, having promised last year that the joint voice assistant project would arrive in 2017.

Microsoft and Amazon announced the collaborative voice assistant project in August last year, promising to bring all the abilities of both Cortana and Alexa together so that consumers could have the best of both worlds.

The tech giants were planning on releasing the newly collaborated assistant by the end of last year, but three days into 2018 and there is still no sign of the device. The collaboration will enable users to play music, set up calendar appointments, do Amazon shopping and control smart home devices using Alexa or Cortana through any Echo or Microsoft device.

Both Microsoft and Amazon spokespeople told Thurrot that the joint assistant will be here soon, with Amazon saying: “We’re working on it and expect to begin rolling it out soon.” Microsoft, meanwhile, promised that “we’ll have more to share soon.”Alexa, Cortana tie-up stalls as Microsoft & Amazon miss deadline

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Teaming the two devices together aims to simplify voice controlled tasks that are carried out in the home, allowing users to issue commands to an Amazon device to operate a Windows application through Cortana, and vice versa with Cortana to Amazon applications.

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

Although the roll out delay does not pose any significant concern to customers and businesses, the failure to deliver to deadline comes as a slight embarrassment for the two companies.

How the tie-up first came about
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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said: “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.”


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