Today marked a big day for Microsoft as the company officially launched the Windows 10 May 2020 Update. The latest version of Windows 10 comes with a new Cortana experience, as well as some improvements to Bluetooth pairing and so much more. However, there is one thing missing: the Alexa skill for Cortana.
According to a report from VentureBeat, the new Cortana at launch with the May 2020 Update cannot respond to Alexa queries. Per the publication's interview with Cortana lead Andrew Shuman, though, that doesn't mean the skill will permanently be gone. Shuman stays that Microsoft will continue to work really closely with Amazon on digital assistants:
“It’s not in this version, but we continue to work really closely with Amazon to think about new ways to bring the two systems together,” he said. “There’s so many things that of course Amazon does well that we’re not going to do, and that starts with e-commerce and all those great experiences. So we’ll be bridging those in thoughtful ways, but we wanted to get started on a core set of first-party things that we can be great at.”
This should not be too surprising, as Microsoft has moved Cortana away from a personal assistant to more of a productivity assistant. Cortana was discontinued on Android and iOS as well as Xbox One consoles, and Microsoft's digital assistant has now been pushed into Outlook, with the Play My Emails feature, which reads aloud emails and other to-do items.
Interestingly, even the Cortana skill for Alexa appears to no longer work when we tried to access Cortana with Alexa on Windows 10 and Android. It will be interesting to see how the new Cortana shapes up in a few months, and we do hope that the Cortana/Alexa integration eventually returns. After all, Alexa does have access to more queries and skills which Cortana never had.