Earlier this week, it was reported that Microsoft stores were stocking various Alexa devices. And now the reason behind that has become apparent. Microsoft has announced that you'll be able to make Skype calls using Alexa.
The new Alexa skill, announced on the official Skype blog will let you initiate outbound calls by simply saying "Alexa, call Fred on Skype". In bound calls can also be answered with "Alexa, answer".
Thinking back to my childhood, this is really the stuff of science fiction and brings us closer to the Star Trek experience. But instead of saying "Computer..." We start the invocation wth "Alexa..."
The new integration is easy to set up - Microsoft has provided some instructions on the Skype and Alexa website. As a bonus, you'll receive 200 minutes of Skype time split as 100 minutes per month for the first two months after you set it up.
Microsoft and Amazon have been working together over recent times with Alexa and Cortana working together as well as the retail relationship between the two technology powerhouses. Given the two companies compete so fiercely on AWS and Azure cloud services, it's interesting to see this level of cooperation at the consumer front.
It's really as sign of how the business world has evolved as today's leaders are more interested in maximising revenues and increasing user numbers than curing off their noses to spite their faces squabbling in areas where there are obvious synergies.