It has been reported that since May of last year, Microsoft and Amazon have been working in partnership to enable their respective AI digital assistants ‘Cortana’ and ‘Alexa’ to work together.
What Does This Mean?
In short, this partnership should mean that some of the skills, functions and strengths of Alexa will be available through Cortana, and vice versa. The initial integration will mean that users will be able to tell one digital assistant to open the other e.g. "Alexa, open Cortana". The partnership has created what is essentially the largest combined platform in the world with a pool of over 200 million users.
This should mean that value will be added to each digital assistant with customers benefitting from the leverage and synergies, and both companies being able to gain greater reach with their products, and to advance their AI work.
Some technical commentators have described the move by Microsoft and Amazon to share and join forces on their AI assistants as being as momentous as when AOL and Compuserve opened their platforms up to interchange, and moved away from the confines of curated, separate platforms towards a more open Internet.
There are many reasons why this partnership could benefit both companies as well as consumers. These include:
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
This story illustrates how strategic alliances can be mutually beneficial, help advance products / markets through synergy, and be an effective competitive tactic that can bring market advantages.
In the case of Microsoft and Amazon working together with their digital assistants, for business customers, this can mean easier access to the leveraged power of shared advanced technology (as a business tool) and a step towards simplification.
Alexa and Cortana’s relationship should be a step towards creating an open way to communicate and interconnect with AI platforms. While we are currently limited to in the short term to choosing one platform as a favourite, this move may contribute to (in the longer term) the creation of only one platform. For the business user (and customers using voice-activated devices) this will be a much simpler way of orchestrating multiple tasks and AI activities.