What you need to know
- Microsoft quietly ended the Cortana integration with Alexa in September 2021.
- Amazon and Microsoft announced the integration of Cortana and Alexa in 2017.
- Microsoft has shifted Cortana to be a productivity-focused assistant that works within Microsoft 365.
Microsoft and Amazon's digital assistants no longer work together. The integration between Cortana and Alexa ended in September 2021, though as pointed out by PCMag, no one seemed to notice. If you ask Alexa to access Cortana, Amazon's digital assistant will say, "sorry, the Cortana skill is no longer available."
"As of Sept. 18, we decided to end the Cortana on Alexa experience as it previously existed and shift our Cortana resources to focus on productivity within Microsoft 365," said a Microsoft spokesperson to PCMag.
The integration between Cortana and Alexa required several steps to work. Essentially, you would call upon one assistant to summon the other. This proved redundant in many cases as the two assistants could perform similar tasks. Since the announcement of the integration, the focus of Cortana has changed.
Microsoft repositioned Cortana as a productivity-focused digital assistant that works within Microsoft 365 apps, such as Teams and Outlook. Cortana gradually lost consumer functionality during the shift, including skills losing support in 2020. Instead, Cortana can now perform tasks such as reading your emails.
The iOS and Android apps for Cortana were retired last year. Cortana support for the Harman Kardon Invoke speaker ended in June 2021. Cortana is available on Windows 11 but isn't installed by default. It's not surprising that the integration of Alexa and Cortana ended, though it's odd that no one seemed to notice for a couple of months.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.