Alexa and Cortana integration now available on Windows 10 and Echo

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Alexa and Cortana integration starts rolling out today

For instance, you can access the Office specific functions of Cortana from your Amazon Echo speaker using the "Alexa, open Cortana" phrase.

Updated It has taken the best part of a year, but from today Microsoft fans can talk to Cortana through the vaguely creepy ears of Amazon's Echo devices and vice versa.

"This integration will allow Cortana users to ask Alexa to shop on Amazon, manage their Amazon orders and access many of Alexa's third-party skills". For Cortana fans, the preview is available on Windows 10 and the Harman Kardon Invoke speakers. Alternatively, on an Echo you can say, "Alexa, open Cortana" and gain access to Microsoft's assistant.

See, Alexa is like your Type-A friend who's all over everything: she can call you a auto, play you some tunes, and wake you the heck up in the morning! After all, the advent of Alexa for Business means that Microsoft likely needs Amazon more than the other way around. Say you have an Amazon Echo.

Amazon teases that this is only the beginning of the relationship between Alexa and Cortana; it also warns that some features aren't available under the preview, including access to audiobooks, music, and Alexa's flash briefing.

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The Verge reports that Microsoft and Amazon have released a wider public preview of its previously teased deeper integration between the Alexa and Cortana digital assistants - available for everyone in the U.S. right now.

Microsoft and Amazon officials have said the goal of integrating Cortana and Alexa is to be able to carry out different tasks both at home and work on whichever device is most convenient. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at the time the company wants "to make it possible for our customers to get the most out of their personal digital assistants - not be bound to some walled garden".

"Currently, Cortana and Alexa can each be enabled as a skill on the other", Microsoft explained, highlighting some basic use cases for Cortana users. You don't need to say "Cortana" or "Alexa" before your commands, but you still need to say "Alexa, stop", to turn off the service.

This feedback will hopefully result in the inclusion of some now missing features, like music streaming and alarm clocks, as both parties intend to keep adding more over time.

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