Last year, Microsoft and Amazon announced something completely unexpected: their respective digital assistants, Setup Alexa for Cortana, would work together soon. It took a year for this partnership to end, but it is better than late.
Instead of a cat and mouse contest, the two assistants will rely on each other to fill in their gaps.
Alexa users can call Cortana, for example, to send an email with their voice via Outlook or to manage their calendar. Similarly, Cortana users can call Alexa to use one of their thousands of skills or control smart devices at home.
While some sequences seemed pre-recorded for demonstration purposes, others showed many examples of using this voice assistant. The rounded icon of Cortana takes place near the start button in Windows 10 and is triggered with the mouse of a click. On the right is a search field for typing text on the keyboard, and another microphone icon on the right end triggers listening through the computer’s microphone.
It is also possible to challenge Cortana without the need to move mouse and keyboard, simply by pronouncing clearly “Hey Cortana!”. Immediately after pronouncing these words, Cortana translates and transcribes in her search field the words spoken and tries to answer your request, either by a search.
A curious assistant, the confidentiality to be defined
To prevent Cortana from being seen by users as a spy placed within the system. Microsoft says on his blog that Cortana control options will be available to make it more reliable, but also more transparent. Cortana does not just respond to requests: it learns from the user and his preferences to better respond to requests. Moreover, it can even anticipate needs by providing appointment reminders, transport schedules or by following sports results.
We can ask him the time he is doing or starts the composition of an email addressed to a contact that will be announced clearly. After the assistant has drawn in your repertoire, we can also compose the message with voice through voice recognition. It is also possible to ask him to “find pictures of the month of December”, as shown by Microsoft during the demonstration, in which case it displays a window of the explorer with the found images. Simple and efficient.
Here’s How it’s built:
Cortana and Alexa
For starters, you need to combine the two services, which means you do not need an Amazon account, but also a Microsoft account.
In addition, you need a Windows computer 10 and an Amazon Echo ($ 85 on Amazon.com) or Tap Speaker (Cortana still does not work with the Alexa app or a third party currently playing:
Look at this:
Alexa and Amazon Cortana can talk to whoever…
Use Cortana’s ability
The easiest way to pair both wizards is to use the Alexa app on Android or iOS (or the Alexa Web client) to use the Cortana Skill.
In the application menu, tap Skills. Locate Cortana and press Activate. This will require you to link your Microsoft account. (If this does not happen automatically, tap Settings on the skills page, then Link account.) Click I agree and sign in Contact your Microsoft account credentials
Once you have activated the Cortana ability, you can interact with Cortana by saying, “Alexa, open Cortana.”
If you use Cortana for the first time, you must give it access to the address of your device. Download the Alexa app and then open the Alexa app, go to the Cortana Skills page, then Settings> Manage Permissions
Once it’s fully Setup Alexa for Cortana and you call Cortana through your Alexa spokesperson. You can only talk to her about it through your Windows computer.
For the moment, Cortana’s capacity quite limited, so all features not activated. The Skills page even lists Cortana’s skills as a public preview and is not available on Alexa-enabled third-party devices.
Use Alexa on Windows
If you add Alexa to Cortana, it’s a little different and you cannot do it with your phone. Instead, you need a Windows 10 computer ($ 100 on Amazon.com).
It’s just as simple. Open Cortana by clicking on the icon in the system tray or pressing Windows + S key. Press on.
Then enter “Open Alexa” or say, and a window will appear. Sign in with your Amazon credentials and click Sign In. Click Allow to confirm the connection, and then click Yes or Ignore when asked if Windows should remember your Amazon credentials.
Finally, in the Cortana menu, click Yes so that Microsoft can share your location. Your recorded audio files with Amazon. All of this means that Microsoft records the audio, but passes it on to Amazon for analysis of what you say.
After Alexa is fully connected to Cortana, say "Open Alexa". You can then talk to Alexa as usual.
You can use your favorite Alexa capabilities directly from your Windows desktop, control your smart lights, or even listen to music on your home’s Alexa speakers. Now that Alexa and Cortana work in harmony, you should consider this.
50 Alexa skills or read our constantly updated list of Alexa orders to try it out.
As a voice assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana still has a long way to go before she’s as popular and useful as Alexa as a smart home assistant. However, Amazon’s assistant cannot do certain things. So, to help you fill everyone’s gaps, you can now use Alexa on Windows 10 device (or the Harman Kardon Invoke Cortana speaker). Conversely, you can also use Cortana on an Echo device.
Microsoft announced at the January Build Developers Conference that Alexa and Cortana would work together. Seven months later, the integration finally launched with the public:
Having two wizards in one device can be particularly useful. For those who frequently use Microsoft productivity applications such as Office and Outlook.
You will be prompted to sign in to your Microsoft account or create one if you do not have one yet. Say “Alexa, open Cortana.” Cortana will greet you when you are logged in and you will see the Cortana icon if you are using an Echo Spot or Echo Show.
You can now issue basic commands at the Cortana workplace and organization, such as “What emails do I have?” or “What’s on my calendar for tomorrow?” You do not need to say “Cortana” or “Alexa” before your orders. But you still have to say “Alexa, stop” to disable the service.
To use Alexa on a Cortana device:
- Open Cortana. On a Windows 10 computer, you can do this by clicking the search bar in the lower-left corner. 2. Say “Hey Cortana, open Alexa.” You will need to click on the microphone icon on the right side of the search bar. So that Cortana can hear you if you have not set it up for permanent listening. 2. Log in to your Amazon account. You can create an account if you do not have one yet.
- Give permission to Cortana. Alexa will welcome you once it is activated.
Alexa on Windows 10 can perform basic tasks, including reporting on weather and traffic and turning on your smart lights. It still does not support a number of more advanced features. For example, he cannot listen to music and your Flash briefing cannot be read yet.
We have a team of experts to help you in setup Alexa for Cortana on your Windows 10 PC/Laptop. Contact us if you need help.