Amazon and Microsoft offer first preview of Alexa-Cortana integration

Amazon and Microsoft have integrated their digital assistants, which could open up new possibilities for cross-support of features and services outside of whatever hardware brand a user owns. Plans for an integration were announced last year, and the integration is just available as a preview in the U.S. right now. The early users will have the opportunity to provide feedback to the tech companies on the experience.

At this stage, the integration requires a voice cue to call up the alternate AI platform; either “Alexa, open Cortana” or “Hey Cortana, open Alexa.” The companies plan to deepen and broaden how the two systems can combine and support each other in the future.

“The goal is to have two integrated digital assistants who can carry out tasks across different dimensions of daily life — at home or work, and on whatever device is most convenient,” said Microsoft’s Jennifer Langston in a blog post announcing the integration.

Anna Washenko