After debuting nearly a year ago to the date, Microsoft and Amazon have finally begun rolling out the first preview of their promised Cortana and Alexa integration. This means that all Echo device owners and Windows 10 PC users can gain access to either assistant by saying things like “Alexa, open Cortana” and “Cortana, open Alexa.”
With the new integration, Amazon touts you’ll be able to use Cortana’s unique features like booking meetings and checking your work calendar rather going through Alexa to do so, while Microsoft’s assistant can now do things like control smart home devices, shop on Amazon.com, and use the over 20,000 Skills available for Alexa. Really, both assistants are just piggybacking off each other thanks to a cheap integration by requiring users to go through one assistant to get to the other. But it’s still nice to see the collaboration, especially since Cortana isn’t too hot on its own.
Those in the United States are able to access the preview starting today. Amazon and Microsoft say they’ll be collecting user feedback about the feature and will roll it out more broadly to all users in the future.