Microsoft and Amazon announced in 2017 that Cortana and Alexa will engage in cross-platform communications. This could expand both companies use of AI.
This works in a way that Microsoft customers will be able to say “Cortana, open Alexa” on any device that supports Cortana. Initially, we will be able to access Alexa through Windows PCs and later on Android and iOS devices.
Amazon is developing products that are increasingly integrating with a number of smart home devices. Users of Alexa controlled devices – such as the Amazon Echo – can say “Alexa, open Cortana.”
What’s the point of being able to do this you may ask? Both companies standing alone do not have a big enough presence in the mobile space. In comparison to Google and Apple, Amazon and Microsoft’s market penetration in the mobile space in minimal. They are stronger together.
Each company offers different things to the table. Microsoft is strong in productivity and search, whereas Alexa is strong in e-commerce and has a bigger range of skill applications. However, they are going to need to work much closer together to decide which AI will deliver what skills.