Microsoft shows Cortana and Alexa working together in Build demo

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Back in August previous year, Microsoft and Amazon have announced that they are working to integrate their digital personal assistants Cortana and Alexa into each other.

Today we are surrounded by digital assistants, from Siri, to the Google Assistant, to Amazon Alexa, and Microsoft's version, Cortana.

In the Build demo, after Microsoft's Megan Saunders said the initial "open Cortana" command to an Echo smart speaker, Cortana is programmed to say "Cortana here, how can I help?" .

Cortana on Alexa can be summoned by using the command, "Alexa, open Cortana".

In the first demonstration of this pairing, Alexa seemed able to run through the same interface as Cortana fairly seamlessly, and vice-versa.

More news: 'Avengers: Infinity War' makes $1 billion in a record 11 days

If you're still interested in making Alexa your default, however, here's how.

The seed for this collaboration was planted at Microsoft's CEO Summit back in 2016, and executives acknowledged after the Alexa-Cortana announcement the possibility of future partnerships.

The goal of the partnership is to capitalize on each AI assistant's strengths: Alexa has considerable third-party support and a large install base and Cortana has integration with PC-centric features like Microsoft's own Office 365 suite. For one, if your phone has a squeezable gesture to activate the Google Assistant, like the Pixel 2 phones, it won't work for Alexa.

"For all of you developers out there building skills, Cortana and Alexa is going to enable access to more people across more devices", said Saunders. "We both have experience with light rings, although hers is more of a halo". This would also be where you set Cortana up as your main. From there, you're able to use Alexa to send text messages, create shopping lists, control smart home systems, and more. But the only other option was to opt for Microsoft's Cortana (if you have the Cortana app installed). They demonstrated the first of what they say will be many integrations between Alexa and Cortana.

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