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Windows 10 news: Cortana and Alexa integration on Windows 10 PCs imminent for September 2019 update

From a promo video of Microsoft’s Cortana | Photo by Windows/YouTube screenshot

The digital assistant features on Windows 10 are likely going to be significantly improved before 2019 ends based on recent developments in a version available on Microsoft’s beta program Windows Insider. It appears that a collaboration between Microsoft and Amazon is underway to incorporate Alexa-powered functions on the Cortana app in the coming months.

Windows 10 update: September update tests new Cortana app

Personal digital assistants have become popular among mobile platforms in recent years. This explains why every major tech company ended up introducing their own: Siri by Apple, Alexa by Amazon, and Bixby by Samsung. Microsoft, despite not being active in the smartphone market with its device, has Cortana on its Windows 10 devices that are mostly personal computers.

The Italian website Aggiornamenti Lumia that the Cortana beta app is now available and working on the Fast Ring of Windows Insider. There is also evidence showing that files for the Cortana app include the logo of Amazon Alexa. It could mean one thing: Windows 10 users will be able to activate Cortana features with Alexa wake words soon.

It makes sense for Microsoft to open up to collaborations with the likes of Amazon to expand Cortana’s services and functions. This way, Cortana’s popularity and relevance rise without necessarily competing with widely preferred mobile digital assistants such as Alexa.

Microsoft has yet to elaborate on its immediate plans for Cortana. While it is true that the Windows 10 September 2019 update is in the pipeline (labeled as 20H1), the features that come with it are yet to be finalized. But there is a good chance that Cortana will introduce Alexa features soon as Amazon already did the same for the Windows 10 app on its platform recently.

Windows 10 upcoming features, release date: No-password login, improved Calendar and Phone apps

Earlier this year, Microsoft introduced phone mirroring features between Android devices and onto Windows 10 computers through the Your Phone app. This is one of the things Microsoft wants to further improve in the coming months. For example, the company listened to “Insiders’” request and made the feature available on more Surface computers.

The next main Windows 10 update will also likely offer login options using biometrics and PIN credentials while more user-friendly features on basic apps such as the Calendar are in the works, too. The 20H1 is slated to be released in September.

By Jess Ferrera
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