Microsoft and Amazon are integrating their digital assistants this week. A new preview is being offered to both Cortana and Alexa users in the US that will allow each digital assistant to summon each other and access additional apps and services. The integration was first announced last year and demonstrated earlier this year at Microsoft’s Build developer conference, and now Microsoft and Amazon are seeking feedback before it’s broadly rolled out to all devices.
The integration is rather basic right now and requires users to summon each digital assistant through a rather clunky process. “Alexa, open Cortana” will launch Cortana on an Echo device, and “Hey Cortana, open Alexa,” will do the same on Windows 10 PCs and devices like the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker. Cortana and Alexa will both be enabled as a skill on each platform, allowing you to call up Cortana from an Echo device and get access to some of the Windows / Office specific features of the digital assistant.