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Microsoft Introduces Cortana And Alexa Integration At Microsoft Build Conference

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Microsoft shocked the technology world when it announced a collaboration with Amazon at the 2018 Microsoft Build Conference. The companies are working on a way to integrate their two smart assistants.   ( Justin Sullivan | Getty Images )

Microsoft kicked off its 2018 Build Conference in a big way. The software company introduced a new method of digital communication.

When Cortana Met Alexa

On Monday, May 7, Build Conference attendees were surprised when Amazon Alexa Senior Vice President Tom Taylor joined Microsoft general manager Megan Saunders on stage for a unique demonstration. The two tech leaders shared that customers would be able to use the two digital assistants in tangent in the future. Some of the examples that were used in the demonstration included checking schedules with Cortana on an Amazon Echo and using Alexa to order an Uber while using a Microsoft Windows 10.

How Does It Work?

During the demonstration, the leaders revealed that if a user wanted to work with Cortana on Alexa, they would be able to summon the Microsoft digital assistant on Amazon's device. Both companies are hoping that Alexa and Cortana develop a symbiotic relationship where the devices would able to help their users get tasks done.

When Will It Come Out?

Many attendees hoped that the surprise revelation would also mean that Microsoft and Amazon would announce when this integration feature would be released. However, Saunders stated that the product was still in its beta testing. Also, Saunders revealed that the company launched a website that would allow developers to assist in the integration process. She challenged developers to start thinking of ideas that would enhance the connection between the two digital assistants.

A Tech Times Exclusive

Tech Times recently corresponded with Microsoft with an inquiry about the partnership. An organization spokesperson stated the collaboration between the two companies was the result of direct conversations with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

"Our ongoing goal has been to make Cortana your intelligent assistant, wherever you need assistance, and across many devices and platforms; from Windows 10 PCs to iPhone and Android. By bringing Cortana to Alexa and Alexa to Cortana, we are adding more value and choice for consumers and developers alike," said a Microsoft spokesperson.

Microsoft Developments

Recently, Microsoft announced that Minecraft's Aquatic Update would be the last time the software company would release new material on previous generation consoles such as the PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360, and PS Vita. The Minecraft team stated that the older generation of consoles make up less than 5 percent of active players but encouraged users to pick the game on Xbox One, Microsoft Windows 10, and Xbox One.

When the software company released its April 2018 Update for Windows 10, the software upgrade included several new features. Timeline would allow users to go back 30 days to find missing items and smartphones can access it. The update also allowed consumers to enter the virtual world with the Windows Mixed Reality feature by using their Windows-powered VR headsets.

On April 27, Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft's corporate vice president of communications, wrote a blog post on the company's website when e-recyclist Eric Lundgren was sentenced for 15 months in prison for selling Microsoft "counterfeit software." Shaw wrote that while the company did not bring Lundgren to court, they noted that Lundgren pled guilty to his crimes and for taking advantage of the e-recycling community by selling knockoffs of Microsoft software.

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