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Android users can now set Amazon's Alexa as their default voice assistant


Alexa, the artificial intelligence (AI) powered voice-based digital assistant that was initially exclusive to the Amazon Echo spouse and children ahead of published to additional devices like Android and i-OS tablets, is now getting deeper into Android.

The first at-home demo of Cortana / Alexa integration is live now for SOME users.

The process itself also seemed too convoluted - asking Alexa to "open Cortana", for example, then waiting a beat before then asking Cortana a question.

The reaction, as shown above, obviously received applause from the crowd who clearly understand the Halo reference stated within Alexa's reply.

Alexa compatibility is proving crucial in the fight to save Cortana from being an also-ran voice assistant (or "Bixby"). The two tech leaders shared that customers would be able to use the two digital assistants in tangent in the future. Now Microsoft is demoing how this will actually work at its Build 2018 conference.




Perhaps, though, what Microsoft really wants is to benefit from Alexa's momentum.

It's fascinating to see the Seattle region's two tech titans working together, and for users of multiple voice assistants, it's encouraging that they're giving it a try.

In a demonstration, Saunders used an Amazon Alexa-powered Echo to "call" Cortana and to check her schedule for the day. However, you won't be able to properly activate Alexa using the Bixby button.

"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". Microsoft's skill set for Cortana is relatively slim aside from its deep Office integration. So a user, while at work, might say "Cortana, open Alexa" to do something like turn on the porch light at home or buy something online.

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