Back in August last year, Microsoft and Amazon have announced that they are working to integrate their digital personal assistants Cortana and Alexa into each other. Fast forward to the opening keynote of Microsoft’s Build 2018 developer conference moments ago, both companies were on stage to show off the progress of their on-going work.
The demonstration involves the usage of Amazon Echo speaker in which users can activate Cortana by saying “Alexa, open Cortana” and use the same voice commands that they might already been using for the Microsoft digital personal assistance on their Windows PC. As examples, Megan Saunders, the General Manager for Cortana choose to check calendar and send email using Cortana via the speaker during the stage demo.
Likewise, users are able to invoke Alexa on Windows PC through Cortana just by saying “Hey Cortana, open Alexa”. Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President for Alexa demonstrated this on stage to book an Uber ride and turn off a desk light before concluding the joint stage demo by asking Alexa’s opinion regarding Cortana.
The reaction, as shown above, obviously received applause from the crowd who clearly understand the Halo reference stated within Alexa’s reply. As interesting as this demo might looked, the integration between Cortana and Alexa is still not yet ready for end users although Microsoft has opened a site whereby users are able to register their interest in case they want to learn more about the integration once it is ready.