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Microsoft Starts Selling Amazon’s Echo Devices

While Alexa accepted personal requests, Cortana helped with business needs

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Microsoft launches e-commerce portal for Telangana's handloom weavers. Pixabay

Following its partnership with Amazon to integrate their two Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered assistants Alexa with Cortana, Microsoft has now started selling Amazon’s Echo devices in its retail stores.

Amazon’s Echo Dot and Echo devices are available online and in Microsoft Stores in the US, The Verge reported on Saturday.

Microsoft introduced Cortana on Windows Phone four years ago. In Windows 10, it became the core search functionality.

The software maker now appears to be pushing it towards more business-focused areas like chat bots rather than its original consumer-focused launch, the report added.

Microsoft has been increasingly focusing on its Amazon partnership and Alexa integration, it added.

Microsoft and Amazon had announced to integrate their virtual assistants last year.

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Microsoft introduced Cortana on Windows Phone four years ago. In Windows 10, it became the core search functionality. Pixabay

The tech giants performed the first such integration between the two intelligent assistants at the “Build 2018” developers’ conference in May this year.

Megan Saunders, Microsoft Cortana General Manager, and Tom Taylor, Amazon Alexa Senior Vice President, showcased how Alexa and Cortana would work together in the near future.

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“For all of you developers out there building skills, Cortana and Alexa will enable access to more people across more devices. And we can’t wait to see what you build,” said Saunders.

While Alexa accepted personal requests, Cortana helped with business needs.

The integration works with the command: “Alexa, open Cortana.” (IANS)

Next Story

Microsoft Planning to Integrate Google’s Services into Outlook.com: Report

The feature is only rolling out to Outlook.com Web mail client users

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash.
FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. VOA

Microsoft is planning to integrate several Google services into Outlook.com, including Google Drive, Google Calendar and Gmail.

This integration would work in a very similar manner to how it does on the existing Android and iOS Outlook apps, with separate inboxes and side-by-side integration in the calendar, The Verge reported on Wednesday.

The new integration was recently shared on Twitter by user Florian B who tweeted screenshots that show a new feature in Outlook.com allowing users to integrate their Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar into their Outlook.com account.

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FILE – A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

As per the report, the Google Drive integration supports documents and files from Google’s service so a user can quickly attach them to Outlook or Gmail emails.

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Right now it is not clear how many Outlook.com users will get access to this, or when the company will make it available more broadly.

The feature is only rolling out to Outlook.com Webmail client users. (IANS)