Amazon Alexa availability across Microsoft services is increasing as the Cortana/Alexa integration gathers pace. The latest service to gain Alexa support is Skype. Amazon’s voice assistant now supports Skype across its compatible devices.
It is worth noting, Microsoft initially announced Skype availability on Echo devices back in September. This week’s roll out is the finalization of those earlier plans.
Users can now conduct Skype calls on Amazon Echo devices. Of course, some of those smart home devices are audio only, so only voice calls are supported. However, some, like the Echo Show, have screens and will support video calling.
One of the benefits of Skype hooking up with Alexa is the service now becomes available on the market-leading smart speaker service. While Microsoft’s own Cortana has supported Skype for a long time, the assistant is on a limited amount of devices.
By allowing support on Alexa, Microsoft is putting Skype in the homes of millions of users and within a growing market. Using the SkypeOut feature, Echo users can make mobile and landline cals by using the command “Alexa, call Markus on Skype”.
While this is undoubtedly a positive integration for Skype, it is more worrying for Cortana. Microsoft and Amazon are engaged in a partnership where Alexa can be accessed from Cortana and vice versa.
There was always a danger this accord would have more benefit for Amazon than it would Microsoft. In fact, Cortana has taken a proverbial beating this year as Alexa has found its way to Windows 10 and to Xbox.
Indeed, Microsoft has been increasingly shifting focus of Cortana away from cosnumers and towards productivity and enterprise.