MICROSOFT HAS CONFIRMED that the integration of Amazon's Alexa with Cortana is still coming, but is not yet ready for prime time.
Windows Latest reports that both companies are still trying to work out how integration will "provide experiences that are great".
That's according to Javier Soltero, Corporate Vice President, Cortana who added: "I think you'll see soon that there is proof in the pudding, but we're not just going to hurry up and ship something just to satisfy."
This seems to apply to the arrival of Cortana on Amazon Alexa devices which is now four months over the "end of 2017" deadline the companies set themselves.
Meanwhile, Amazon always intended to add Alexa as a Windows Universal app on certain compatible PCs this year - citing that it would only be on machines with far-field microphones good enough to give a commensurate experience to using an Echo device.
Thus far, nobody is willing to share dates on when this pudding is going to end up being proved - not least of all because this is a scenario that neither company will have been preparing for during initial development.
Sure, there's always been the chance that other people will want to put their own assistant into rival products but this is different - this is about combining two rivals who have signed an accord into something greater than the sum of its parts that doesn't diminish other products.
For Microsoft particularly, this is a move that takes it into territory that it wasn't designed for. Microsoft had always said it wouldn't offer new hardware of the Google Home/Amazon Echo type but rather would leverage Cortana through the billions of potential terminals it already has.
That was before everyone ran off and bought Alexa devices. Now, the company realises that it deserves a bit of that pie, and signed a complete curveball deal with one of its biggest rivals.
In that context, therefore, it's not so surprising that it's all taking a lot longer than planned. We can't help wondering if the executives who came up with (and announced) the idea, even spoke to an engineer about whether it was possible. µ
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