Microsoft’s decision to announce the plan of digital assistant technology Cortana with Amazon’s similar technology that Alexa reap a variety of speculation. This cross-platform integration certainly has its advantages and disadvantages for both. Alexa users will have the benefit of having the skills to control Office that other virtual assistants do not have.
While users of Cortana will have control over smart devices that can rule through Alexa, there are smart home devices. Although looks favorable to both, but technology analyst Mary Jo Foley assess this step makes the position of Cortana increasingly blurred, even decline.
Cortana which has 230 capabilities is considered lost to Alexa who has only 25 thousand abilities. So far Cortana can light a colored light bulb from Philips Hue, but can not talk to other connected products or finalize a long list of products from other service providers. The position of Cortana, once a front-end Bing, will retreat into a small back-end system. With so many abilities that Alexa can do, it will be less chance Cortana to use.
“As introduced initially, Cortana is a more beautiful front-end for Bing search. By doing this, Microsoft obscures the Cortana that was once a key part of Microsoft’s plan to embed its applications and services provided by AI services in the back-end, “Foley said. The steps taken by Microsoft seem to show if the company from Waterloo, the US was not able to follow the natural language processing that should be done by a virtual assistant. That’s the step that has so far been done by hardware manufacturers.
‘Marriage’ between Cortana and Alexa will undoubtedly land on the device made by Acer, Asus, and HP in the first quarter of 2018. Steve Chang, president of Asus North America, said in a statement as quoted by ZDNet, speaking that combining Alexa with Asus computers allows customers to complete a variety of previously complicated tasks if only done by talking. Because Windows PCs now enable users to communicate to Cortana as well, Asus may well feel that Alexa offers a more natural experience.