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After Alexa, Microsoft Wants to Integrate Cortana and Google Assistant

Satya Nadella has been frank about Microsoft's plans for Cortana, announcing that it will no longer be trying to compete with Amazon, Google, and Apple. Instead, it wants the assistant to take a background role.


As and corner the smart speaker market, is having to face facts. Once again, it didn't commit early enough. Last year, it announced plans to reposition as a productivity aid, while also integrating it with Amazon's Alexa.

The changes have caused some confusion with users, who fail to see the benefit of using Cortana over competing platforms. In a press meeting on Monday, Microsoft CEO finally revealed the long-term vision for the assistant, and it's a strange one.

According to Nadella, Microsoft no longer sees Cortana as a competitor to Alexa or Google Assistant. Instead, he wants the assistant to become a skill or app on other platforms, providing unique value due to her Office links.

“Would it be better off, for example, to make Cortana a valuable skill that someone who is using Alexa can call? Or should we try to compete with Alexa? he said, according to Business Insider. “We, quite frankly, decided that we would do the former. Because Cortana needs to be that skill for anyone who is a Microsoft Office 365 subscriber.”  

Cortana and Google Assistant

However, the vision doesn't stop with Amazon. In an ideal world, Microsoft would get Google on board, too.

“You should be able to use it on , you should be able to use it on Alexa, just like how you use our apps on and iOS so that's at least how we want to think about where it'll go,” Nadella added.

It's unclear how achievable that goal is. Google and Microsoft are yet to announce any kind of collaboration. Google's G Suite platform is a direct competitor to Office 365, as its Chromebooks somewhat are to Windows. It's not clear if the benefits would be enough for Google in Cortana's current state.

As it stands, the assistant has a limited reach, not supporting a number of major languages or rolling out in mainland Europe. In the long-term, though, Nadella doesn't believe the speaker you use will matter. He envisions a future where software will be smarter and users can ask it to do any number of things.

Having just one way to talk an assistant “makes no sense” to Nadella, and he may have a point. However, Microsoft's ability to capitalize on that remains to be seen.

Ryan Maskell
Ryan Maskellhttps://ryanmaskell.co.uk
Ryan has had a passion for gaming and technology since early childhood. Fusing the skills from his Creative Writing and Publishing degree with profound technical knowledge, he enjoys covering news about Microsoft. As an avid writer, he is also working on his debut novel.

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