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Amazon will finally let you sync music from multiple Echo speakers

30 Août 2017

When Amazon Echo's Alexa can't find the answer to a question in a search query it turns to Bing as a backup, so it doesn't seem out of the ordinary that two virtual assistants - Cortana and Alexa - can now converse.

Using Alexa from Cortana will just require users to say "Hey Cortana, open Alexa". While Microsoft and Amazon claim they would also like to see this kind of communication crossover work with those other assistants, it's unlikely that will happen anytime in the near future.

The partnership will allow Alexa users to access Cortana's features, such as booking a meeting, accessing work calendars, setting reminders, or reading work email, all using your voice.

With the latest addition, Amazon's Alexa would now be able to synchronize and control music playback from different devices, but that's not all. "It's great for Echo owners to get easy access to Cortana". And Cortana users will be able to call on Alexa to play music or turn on house lights.

The retailer, which is the world's largest for online groceries, has made a decision to embrace the growing popularity of the voice control technology, which is the personal assistant for the Amazon Echo smart home speaker.

According to Amazon and Microsoft, the partnership between their voice assistants is created to highlight the strength of each respective piece of software, and provide customers with the benefits of both.

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Amazon's stock is moving higher after the company partnered with a big competitor in the personal assistant space. Bezos told the New York Times that smart assistants could one day route commands to the most appropriate assistant without any user intervention. It won't as simple as asking Alexa to open Office Suite, for example, since you'll have to ask her to "Open Cortana" first.

"Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us", added Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, talked about Alexa and Cortana working together to build upon each other's strengths and data sets in a complementary, if not synchronistic, fashion.

Alexa and Cortana will begin talking to each other later this year, and at that time Microsoft and Amazon will announce further details and features.

Apple this year unveiled a "HomePod" speaker as it moved to challenge Amazon Alexa and Google Home as a smart home and music hub.

Amazon will finally let you sync music from multiple Echo speakers