Alexa Breathes Down Cortana's Neck

Alexa Breathes Down Cortana's Neck
Windows 10 users can now summon Alexa by voice, without the need to press a key.

(CCM) — Cortana was originally designed to be Microsoft's anointed intelligent assistant, but now Amazon's Alexa is muscling in on the role in Windows 10, Engadget is reporting.

The latest update to the Alexa Windows 10 app now gives users the option to summon Amazon's intelligent assistant solely by voice in the same way that she can be summoned on an Echo device, regardless of whether the Alexa app is running on the PC in the foreground, the report says. So as long as a user is within range of the PC's microphone they can now check the weather simply by saying: "Alexa, what's the weather today?"

Users can also now use the Alexa app to control the Pandora online radio service using voice commands.

Restricting the Alexa app to activating only after a keyboard press is still an option for those who do not want to risk waking the intelligent assistant inadvertently, perhaps during a phone conversation.

Allowing Alexa to sit side by side with Cortana on Windows 10 is the latest result of an increasingly close relationship between Amazon and Microsoft which includes Alexa using information provided by Microsoft's Bing search engine.

Image: © Amazon.