In an unexpected but welcome alliance, Microsoft and Amazon are set to announce that their digital assistants will be able to interact with each other by the end of the year, reports the New York Times:
For the past year, the two companies have been coordinating behind the scenes to make Alexa and Cortana communicate with each other. The partnership, which the companies plan to announce early Wednesday, will allow people to summon Cortana using Alexa, and vice versa, by the end of the year.
The move is reported to address concerns by the companies’ CEOs that proprietary digital assistants could hold the technology back from becoming mainstream. The move is also seen as a way for Amazon and Microsoft to strengthen the appeal of their digital assistants in the face of an increasingly crowded market, of which Apple and Google are already heavily invested in. The latter two companies are seen to have critical advantages over Amazon and Microsoft in the digital assistant front since their assistants are the default AI on the world’s most popular mobile operating systems, Android and iOS.