Not the news fans may have liked to heard. But the writing has been on the wall for Cortana for a while now. The latest development is that Microsoft wants to make its digital assistant an Alexa skill.
Just the type of news to follow up the split between Cortana and search in Windows 10.
It was in August of last year that Microsoft and Amazon officially announced that Cortana and Alexa would play nice with each other. The two digital assistants only team up on Echo devices, the Harman Kardon Invoke and Windows 10 PCs, but it’s a solid first start.
And now there are signs that the company is ready to turn Cortana into an Alexa skill or app and make it available on third-party platforms.
This report has CEO Satya Nadella hinting that instead of competing directly with the Amazon digital assistant, Redmond wants to enable Alexa users to summon Cortana. This capability will be available for all Microsoft Office 365 subscribers.
Alexa, obviously, has around 30,000 skills, but this move does offer users choice — particularly the ones that rely on Cortana in their digital lives.
If you are one of these, you will be able to ask Alexa to read your mail or interact with Office content.
Another feature that looks like it has taken a different turn than what Redmond originally intended. Yes, this is a new horizon for Cortana, but it is become clear that this may not be a service that will compete toe-to-toe with the likes of Alexa and Google Assistant.
Speaking of, Nadella is also eying a similar tie-up with Google Assistant, though there are no formal talks between the two companies. Then again, Cortana has long been available on Android devices, and this may serve as a foundation for future integration between these two assistants.
Still, it’s a major fall from grace for a digital assistant that the company was pushing hard a few years back on Windows 10 and beyond.
Once again, Microsoft was a day late and dollar short.