The new integration between both Alexa and Cortana is promising, but far from comprehensive, based on our initial testing this past week. Microsoft and Amazon start public rollout of initial Alexa-Cortana integrations, guarantee more to come This capacity for Cortana to get a lot of Alexa’s third party skills is among the most promising facets of the integration between the digital assistants, which debuted this week since a public preview. If skills would be the equivalent of apps, Amazon has effectively given the store away to Microsoft through this new venture. Alexa also gains from the integration. Going the other way, in our Amazon Echo Spotwe could request Alexa to open Cortana to read our Outlook.com mails and discuss through the upcoming appointments on our calendar. But when we tried to play our Alexa Flash Briefing through a Microsoft-powered apparatus we were dissatisfied. “Sorrythis devices does not support Flash Briefing,” Alexa responded to a Cortana-enabled Windows PC. “What else can I help you with?” Those are a few of the experiences we have had in our initial testing of this new integration of Alexa and Cortana. It has been nearly a year in the making, but electronic assistant detente between cross-town rivals Amazon and Microsoft is now here, and we have been trying out a number of scenarios at home and at the workplace since the preview has been released on Wednesday. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop) Amazon Alexa is currently available on Windows 10 PCs as well as Cortana-enabled Harman Kardon Invoke speakers, whereas Cortana works on Amazon Echo devices. It’s important to keep in mind that this is just Day One, as Amazon likes to mention or really day three, to be wholly accurate — of what both companies say will become a lot deeper venture. The integrations between both electronic assistants are restricted to begin but give a clue of what might come . Before embarking on any significant tech experience there is one significant barrier to clear: that the setup. To get Cortana in an Amazon Echo device, you must first allow the Cortana ability on the internet or from the Alexa program, then sign into your Microsoft account as part of this process. After that, you can declare,”Alexa, open Cortana” to get Microsoft’s voice assistant. The easiest approach to enable Alexa for Microsoft devices is by way of a Cortana-enabled Windows 10 PC. For all of us, things kicked off nicely, but we quickly got caught in a somewhat humorous Cortana loop when we tried to utilize the Microsoft assistant within an Echo Spot in close proximity to a Windows PC. We also hit a roadblock when initially attempting to enable Alexa to the Invoke speaker. Pro tip: you need to first sign into your Amazon account in your telephone or PC and enable the Cortana ability if you are using these Cortana-enabled speakers. Listed below are a few of our initial observations of this experience: The verbal hands become complicated quickly. Needing to ask Alexa to open Cortana and vice versa every time we needed to engage got pretty annoying after about 30 minutes. Hopefully in the future, we will see an option for devices to remember which electronic assistant is active for a longer period of time. Key parts of functionality for both assistants are missing right now. As an example, the digital assistant crossover doesn’t contain any radio or music playback at the moment. Cortana within an Echo could read our Google calendars, and Microsoft email addresses, although not our Google G Suite emailaddress. About the Invoke speakerwe weren’t able to cut off Alexa with the term all too recognizable to frustrated Echo owners”Alexa, stop.” We had to sit through her entire message after things got started. Cortana users will be excited to know that these ancient integrations give Microsoft’s assistant accessibility to a lot of those 45,000 skills that set Alexa apart. Besides playing Jeopardy, as an example, we could purchase Starbucks from the Invoke speakerand access many other skills. But some of the core functionality of Alexa was not offered. About the Invoke speaker we were unable to get flash briefings or have Alexa browse our Kindle books. Smart home improvement is currently available but limited. As an example, managed to control our Alexa-enabled lights and smart plugs at home via Cortana on our Invoke speaker from the office across the city. But, we could not get live video from our Amazon Cloud Cam when talking with Alexa via Cortana on our Windows 10 PC. In some ways, it seems like this integration has begun from the outside in. Cortana-powered devices get access to plenty of the third-party skills which make Alexa stand out, but maybe not a few of the core qualities you’d expect to be an essential part of the initial integrations. Alexa devices become more effective with the accession of several important small business capacities, but a great deal of these skills appear redundant with present Alexa features like the capability to get calendars from Office 365 and other providers. Cortana can be retrieved on Echo devices, like the one in your left, whereas Alexa can be obtained on Cortana-enabled Windows PCs and Harmon Kardon speakers, right. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop) In this phase of the venture, it looks like the individuals who’d benefit all are heavy users of Microsoft products who additionally have an Echo speaker. Cortana’s capacity to read mails and other business skills come to play , as they add a few pretty significant skills to the market-leading smart speaker. Invoke speakers owners are also big winners, since they’re obtaining an electronic assistant double-feature with inclusion of Alexa, producing their speaker a good deal smarter. If we had to benchmark the earliest iteration of the partnership, it would be faulty, since the businesses are just getting started. The smart speaker and electronic assistant markets themselves are at their infancy. And there are still lots of things to smooth out as electronic assistants learn how to speak with each other and leverage one another’s skills. Microsoft and Amazon admit that this is merely the beginning, which is why they rolled the integration out for a preview, requesting feedback. Now, provided the effort of setup, the clunky orders and a restricted set of integrationswe probably won’t make use Alexa via Cortana, or even Cortana via Alexa. However, it is clear that this might be an important initial step for the electronic assistant market, possibly reshaping the way we interact with these new voices in our own lives.