Having fallen behind the competition over the past year or so, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has admitted while speaking to journalists at a media event that his company’s Cortana virtual assistant is no longer a competitor to Alexa or Google Assistant, The Verge is reporting.
“Cortana needs to be that skill for anybody who’s a Microsoft 365 subscriber,” explains Nadella, referencing Microsoft’s new consumer subscription push. “You should be able to use it on Google Assistant, you should be able to use it on Alexa, just like how you use our apps on Android and iOS so that’s at least how we want to think about where it’ll go.”
While taking a completely different approach to the competition, Nadella compared digital assistants to web browsers that need to be interoperable and access similar information. He now expects Cortana to work as an app or a service across multiple platforms rather than competing in hardware for consumers.
Microsoft CEO also admitted that instead of competing with Alexa, there was a challenge of creating hardware and software that’s unique to compete. Microsoft chose to make Cortana “a valuable skill that somebody who is using Alexa can call,” instead of competing in smart speakers, he said.