Alexa and Cortana become best friends later this year

Amazon and Microsoft have come together to make a rather surprising announcement: later this year, Cortana and Alexa will be able to talk to one another. Cortana, of course, is Microsoft's own AI assistant, and even though she may have lost a platform with the decline of Windows Phone, there's still a major push underway to make her an integral part of Windows 10 devices. With Alexa compatibility on the way, Cortana could become even more prevalent.

Importantly, having Cortana along for the ride will help fill some of the holes with Alexa. For instance, there isn't really an easy way for Alexa to access your work calendars or the reminders set through Cortana. By linking the two, you'll have easy access to the things that Cortana excels at.

This is a two-way street, too, as Cortana users will be able to open up Alexa and shop on Amazon or – most importantly – access any of the 20,000 Alexa skills currently in existence. If you use both and you've ever wished that you could combine the abilities of thw two, then this update is definitely for you.

It sounds like accessing one or the other will be fairly simple regardless of the devices you're using. a On Windows 10 device, you simply need to say "Cortana, open Alexa," while "Alexa, open Cortana," will suffice on Echo devices. From there, you can use the abilities of either of these AI helpers.

We're not sure when this cross-platform functionality will be going live, but Amazon and Microsoft said today that it'll be available before the end of the year. With that in mind, we should hear about the release date relatively soon. We'll keep an eye out, but for now, head down to the comments section to let us know if this new cross-platform feature will be useful to you!