Cortana and Alexa have been flirting for what seems like ages, but the integration is finally live via an early-access public preview. But wait, why would you want to use Cortana if you've already got the well-equipped Alexa on your Echo devices?
Because each assistant has different strengths. Cortana, for example, includes access to more Windows and Office-like features that could make you more productive - or at least help you try to be productive. Alexa is much better at controlling your smart home and entertainment (like via Fire TV).
Collaboration is simple, and you can either get started by turning to your device by saying "Alexa, enable Cortana" or heading to the Alexa app:
1) Head to Skills.
2) Search for Cortana.
3) Enable the Skill.
If you decided to ask Alexa to enable Cortana for the first time, you'll get a cute little interaction. Alexa will say something to the effect of "Here's Cortana!" and then Cortana will spring to life and tell you that it needs some access to your location before it can truly get started. Cortana will then direct you back to the Alexa app.
1) Open the Alexa app.
2) Right on the home screen, you'll see Permission Requested from Cortana.
3) Click Update Permissions.
4) Toggle Device Address to on.
5) Tap Save Permissions.
Now you'll need to link your Microsoft account to the Cortana skill to get the full range of your Cortana experience on Alexa. To do that, head to the skill page for Cortana.
1) Click Settings.
2) Tap Link Account.
3) Click I Agree.
4) Log in to your Microsoft account.
5) Click Yes to the permissions.
Boom, Cortana has successfully been linked to Amazon Alexa.
Now, you can start up Alexa any time by simply saying "Alexa, open Cortana." Then you can try things like "What emails do I have?" or "What's on my calendar tomorrow?" or "add getting flowers to my to-do list."
More Amazon Alexa how-tos
- How to control Sonos with Alexa
- How to control Amazon Fire TV using your Echo speaker
- How to use Alexa to control your lights and devices
- How to use your Amazon Echo with Alexa as the perfect alarm clock
- How to view security camera footage on your Amazon Echo devices
- How to set up and use Alexa Drop In and Calling on your Amazon Echo
- Alexa and Spotify guide: How to connect and use with your Amazon Echo
- Alexa Brief Mode explained: How to turn it on and how it works