News Worms
News Worms


Amazon adds multiroom audio control to Echo devices

Amazon adds multiroom audio control to Echo devices

Amazon and Microsoft have announced they will collaborate with each other to make their respective digital assistants talk to each other. Soon you will be able to turn to your Echo device and say, "Alexa, open Cortana", or turn to your Windows 10 device and say, "Cortana, open Alexa", and issue commands to those devices. Echo owners, meanwhile, will be able to take advantage of Cortana's Office 365 integration and productivity-focused features to book meetings, access calendars and set reminders.

"The world is big and so multifaceted".

The unusual alliance started in May 2016 when Jeff Bezos raised the idea to Satya Nadella at Microsoft's CEO summit, which piqued the latter's interest. Going forward, Amazon's virtual assistant, Alexa would be able to control not just one but many Echo speakers at once.

"Amazon and Microsoft worked together for the past year to integrate the technology", according to an Amazon spokesperson.

Asking Alexa to open the Cortana system and vice versa means the firms will have effectively built skills from both of the platforms. Alexa can control smart devices in the home, shop on Amazon, and has more than 20,000 skills provided by third-party developers.

In a statement, Microsoft announced, "Cortana users will now have another way of making their lives easier with a great shopping experience". "If you won't have enough time, simply ask Alexa to open Cortana again and set a reminder for the end of your workday to drop off the clothes".

Amazon and Microsoft have formed an unlikely partnership, striking a friendship between their personal assistants Alexa and Cortana.

Even so, it still seems odd that these two will partner up.

The alliance comes in the face of competition from Google and Amazon, which have invested heavily in artificial intelligence infused digital assistants to enhance their offerings. Apple's Siri has been the digital assistant inside iPhones for years and will power the forthcoming HomePod. However, Moorhead says that there is little the two companies can do to avoid this. That's a task best suited to Cortana, which offers deep integration with Microsoft's suite of products.

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