Voice search and virtual assistants still have a ways to go before they are more than a hands-free novelty to play music, schedule meetings and set alarms.
However, some recent integrations point to a future where everyone spends a lot more time talking to a bot.
Alexa now works on any Windows 10 PC
“Hey Cortana, open Alexa...”
Alexa users who also use Windows 10 can download the latest version of the Alexa app from the Windows store and continue to tell Alexa to check their calendar, create lists, or play music on the their PC.
It'll probably take a few more updates before the integration is bug free, but the plan is to have Alexa seamlessly integrated between a user's home and work devices.
The Alexa integration into the Windows 10 operating system comes at a time when Microsoft has removed Cortana from search and silenced her during setup.
The Alexa app is also available for Xbox One. It can turn on your Xbox, but it can't make you better at playing Fortnite.
Cortana can be called from within Alexa
"Alexa open Cortana..."
Amazon and Microsoft are competitors in the cloud space, but when it comes to digital assistants, the two tech giants appear to be playing nice together.
“The goal is to have two integrated digital assistants who can carry out tasks across different dimensions of daily life,” says Jennifer Langston, Writer of Microsoft Stories and the AI Blog.
Again the logic behind these integrations is to prepare for a future where multiple digital assistants can get more done than one.
The engineers working on building out the functionality of these digital assistants plan to take the feedback they get from users in order to drive future updates and applications.
It will be interesting to see where this new Alexa/Cortana friendship leads.
What are your thoughts on virtual assistant apps? Which one do you use, and what improvements would you like to see? Leave us a comment!