How soon is soon? Cortana and Amazon Alexa integration apparently still coming

In August 2017 Microsoft and Amazon announced that the Amazon Alexa voice assistant will soon offer a Cortana skill, allowing Echo owners to access information which is only available via Microsoft’s own voice assistant service.

The integration was supposed to arrive in 2017, but the two companies missed that deadline. In January 2018 Amazon said, “We’re working on it and expect to begin rolling it out soon”.

It seems “soon” is at least more than 2 months, as no application has arrived yet. Now in today’s Windows Insider podcast a Microsoft employee confirmed the integration was still being tested internally via self-hosting, but also that there was no specific news on when the feature will arrive.

While Microsoft is waiting to become available on every Amazon Echo, Amazon has instead chosen to develop an Alexa app for Windows, which is being distributed via PC OEMs and which will instead compete directly against Cortana on those devices.  It seems to me that Amazon does not have much to gain from integrating the two services, suggesting “soon” may be a very long time indeed.


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