Microsoft Announces Cortana to Counter Google Home & Amazon Echo - The Search Marketing Shop
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Microsoft Announces Cortana to Counter Google Home & Amazon Echo

By December 15, 2016 No Comments

Google and Amazon each released their voice-activated home assistants recently in the form of Google Home and Amazon Echo. Microsoft has been closely monitoring the development and has announced its unique alternative in the form of Microsoft Cortana. The Cupertino based tech giant will be offering a more flexible assistant that is device-independent. Unlike Google Home and Amazon Echo, Cortana can be used with third-party devices using the Cortana Devices SDK.

Microsoft has not yet released the release date or pricing for its new assistant. It is expected that it will allow third-party manufacturers to make their Cortana devices. This can help the new software to reach a larger market.

What is Amazon Echo?

Amazon Echo is a speaker developed by Amazon. Its main features include the following:

  • It features a 9.25-inch tall speaker having 7-piece microphone array.
  • It ‘wakes’ up to the name ‘alexa’. However, user can change it to ‘echo’ or ‘Amazon’.
  • Its functions include providing real-time info like voice interaction, creating to-do lists, music playback, streaming podcasts, setting alarms, weather details, playing audiobooks, and traffic.
  • It can also work as a home automation hub and be used for controlling multiple smart devices.

What is Google Home?

This is a smart speaker with Google services integrated within its OS. It has many similar features and commands to Amazon Echo. Some of its main features include:

  • Streaming using Google Play Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora, and few others.
  • It uses Google Assistant as its intelligent personal assistant.
  • It supports 2-way conversation.
  • It has the ability to create an emotional rapport with users.

According to Google, it has developed a personality into Google Assistant.

Microsoft Cortana

Cortana is expected not to be dependent on proprietary devices Microsoft. It is expected to be used with third-party devices, helping extend its reach. The third-party manufacturers may also be able to integrate their own services into their devices. The Devices SDK and Skills Kit for Cortana are similar to the Voice Service and Skills Kit for Amazon Alexa.

Microsoft has currently opened the Skills Kit preview for a few partners. This list includes names like:

  • Expedia
  • Knowmail
  • TalkLocal
  • Capital One

It will work similar to Alexa for third party apps. Developers will be able to add integrations that work based on user voice commands.

These new devices and assistants are expected to make a big impact on voice searches and SEO. Are you sure you are ready for the new changes across the SEO horizon. Visit for more information and to get the help of experienced SEO specialists.