After an interminable wait, yesterday Microsoft and Amazon finally released their Cortana/Alexa gateway, allowing users to access Alexa from their PC and Cortana from their Amazon Echo.
The feature would work by using the keywords “Open Cortana” on the Alexa, which opens a portal onto the Cortana service. It will also work via “Hey Cortana, Open Alexa” on your PC, which lets you access Alexa skills on your PC.
The feature is currently available as a public preview in the US. TetchyOyvind have sent us a video showing the feature in action on his Echo Spot.
During the preview period, only a limited set of features are available. Some features such as streaming music and setting alarms are not yet available, but based on the feedback, such skills will be added in the future.
“Cortana users will be able to have Alexa shop on Amazon.com and manage their Amazon orders and access many of Alexa’s third-party skills by asking Cortana to open Alexa, just as Alexa users will have access to Cortana’s world knowledge and helpful productivity features such as calendar management, day at a glance and location-based reminders simply by asking Alexa to open Cortana,” said Microsoft spokesperson.
Microsoft mentioned that it will ask its early users to engage with the new features and offer feedback like what they like, what they don’t like, what features they use the most. Microsoft also mentioned that this experience will get better and more accurate as they get additional data to improve underlying algorithms.
Have our US readers tried it out? Let us know below.