A partnership between Microsoft and Amazon will soon let users invoke Cortana via Alexa, giving the Windows-based digital assistant a life outside the OS. All of LG's 2018 OLED and UHD TVs will support ThinQ AI, giving Cortana a significant debut when the cross-compatibility goes live.
As well as LG, Amazon has struck deals with Sony and Hisense. Alexa will be able to launch apps, change volume, initiate YouTube streams in other rooms, and more. It's unlikely this functionality will extend to Cortana, but it does mean users can perform tasks on their Windows 10 PC from the comfort of their living room.
Bringing Digital Assistants to the Masses
However, while the integration of the digital assistant will be a selling point for some, it will be a vital starting point for others. Many don't care enough about AI to buy a dedicated smart speaker, especially if they lean towards headphones for music.
TVs, on the other hand, feature in every home and are present in the most communal space. If they aren't sitting at a desk or with a laptop, most people are watching TV, so it's a natural extension. It could even encourage users to make more use of Cortana on their PC.
Unfortunately for Microsoft, though, Amazon is also pushing into the PC space. Acer has launched the first laptops and tablets that ship with Alexa, with similar plans for Lenovo and HP. If it's not careful, Cortana will slowly fade out assistants with better smart device integration and more third-party support.