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Microsoft briefly sold Amazon Echo online

/ 08:08 PM November 19, 2018
amazon echo devices

Amazon Echo devices. Image: Amazon via AFP Relaxnews

Over the weekend, Microsoft’s online store listed the Echo Dot and second-gen Echo, but the pages have already been removed.

Since Twitter user WalkingCat noticed Amazon Echo device listings on the Microsoft website on Friday, the company appears to have pulled the products from the online store.

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Still, it seems that Cortana is taking the backseat in its own company.

Both the newest Echo Dot and the second gen Echo were temporarily available through Microsoft.com over the weekend, further deepening the relationship the company has with Amazon. In August 2017, the companies partnered to integrate Alexa and Cortana; in May of this year, Microsoft revealed exactly what that means.

Basically, the digital assistants can run each other: with an Alexa-enabled device, you can call for Cortana by saying, “Alexa, open Cortana,” and likewise on a Cortana-powered device. Though nothing became available to the public after this demonstration at the Microsoft Build 2018 conference, you can sign up to receive updates on the integration as they become available.

At the end of the day, Cortana is trailing behind competitors like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant, making the digital assistant’s future unclear. The tech recently was rehomed within the company to the Experiences and Devices team from the AI research division. This change suggests that Cortana will still be in use but perhaps more for a different genre of tasks like chatbots and corporate-oriented functions.

With the executive in charge of Cortana leaving the company at the end of the year, Cortana’s fate continues to be hazy. The start of the new year will surely reveal the digital assistant’s fate. JB

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TOPICS: AI assistant, Amazon Echo, Cortana, Google Assistant, Siri
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