Amazon and Microsoft are to collaborate to help Alexa and Cortana talk to each other.

In a some would say surprising move, Amazon and Microsoft have decided to play nice and allow their voice activation platforms to speak to each other. Users will be able to turn to their Echo device and say, ‘Alexa, open Cortana,’ or turn to a Windows 10 device and say, ‘Cortana, open Alexa.’

So what’s the point of that? well Amazon says Alexa customers will be able to access Cortana’s unique features like booking a meeting or accessing work calendars, save reminders  to pick up or reading work email – all using just voice.

Similarly, Cortana customers can ask Alexa to control their smart home devices, shop on Amazon.com and interact with many of the more than 20,000 skills built by third-party developers.

“Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us,” says Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Bringing Cortana’s knowledge, Office 365 integration, commitments and reminders to Alexa is a great step toward that goal.”

“The world is big and so multifaceted. There are going to be multiple successful intelligent agents, each with access to different sets of data and with different specialized skill areas. Together, their strengths will complement each other and provide customers with a richer and even more helpful experience,” adds Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO, Amazon. “It’s great for Echo owners to get easy access to Cortana.”

Alexa and Cortana will begin talking to each other later this year, so more details when we have them. Any ideas as to what other advantages this could offer, let us know your thoughts.

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