Google opens up Assistant as Cortana and Alexa join forces

by Harriet Bell September 1, 2017, 1:49
Google opens up Assistant as Cortana and Alexa join forces

Once this functionality rolls out, you'll be able to say to Echo, "Alexa, open Cortana" to turn on your Windows 10 device.

In the same way, users can use the features of Alexa by asking Cortana to control smart home gadgets as well as to shop at Amazon's official website. Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google's Assistant all have apps for rival operating systems - namely, Android and iOS - but none of them are as capable as the native offerings from Google and Apple respectively. Meanwhile, Cortana was announced by Microsoft in May 2015 and released for its Windows Phone product. "There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas".

However, Microsoft and Amazon did not reveal the exact date when their respective digital assistants will be able to work together.

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Apparently, Google and Apple (which have their own digital assistants) weren't invited to be part of the friendship circle, but Bezos would "welcome" them.

What does that mean for owners of each company's voice driven devices?

The devices that would get "Assistant" include the Anker Zolo Mojo, a small cylinder speaker that's like a third-party Google Home, which will go on sale in late October.

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Alexa-powered Echo and Echo Dot have significant lead in the smart-speakers market, according to figures from marketing research firms. Amazon and Microsoft seem to be forging a closer partnership to see off the threat from Google Assistant, which has recently tied up with U.S. retailer Walmart, and the two assistants seem to complement each other. This also calls into question if other major digital assistants, like Apple's AAPL Siri and Alphabet's GOOGL Google Assistant, will collaborate in the future as well. Either Cortana is activated or Alexa, not both. With the partnership users can get the best of both worlds and access features from both devices.

"The world is big and so multifaceted", said Bezos in a statement. As with any Alexa device, you simply need to ask her to begin playing music - or do any variety of other things like read the news, purchase something from Amazon, or dim the lights - and she will grant your wish in a purely hands-free fashion.

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