Amazon recently unveiled a slew of new products, most of which are Alexa-enabled devices designed to make your home smarter. The message is simple and clear… Alexa is going to be everywhere. And now Microsoft wants a piece of the action.
Microsoft and Amazon have been working together for some time, and, as a result, earlier this year Cortana and Alexa learned to talk to each other. Now, with Alexa and Cortana getting on famously, Microsoft is upping the ante by adding Skype to the mix.
Bringing Skype Calling to Your Amazon Echo
In a nutshell, Microsoft is bringing Skype calling to Alexa devices. Once it has been rolled out, anyone who owns an Amazon Echo will be able to “easily communicate with their friends and family from their Echo devices, simply using [their] voice.”
If you own an Echo you will be able make outgoing calls, both voice and video, and accept incoming Skype calls. You’ll also be able to make SkypeOut calls to standard phone lines. However, unlike Skype-to-Skype calls, SkypeOut calls cost money.
Alexa, call Jeff on Skype. https://t.co/5vQ24Xj2Os
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) September 20, 2018
Seeing as Alexa is is a voice-activated personal assistant it should come as no surprise to discover Skype has its own voice commands. To make a call just say, “Alexa, call [Name] on Skype. And answering a call is as simple as saying, “Alexa, answer”.
According to Microsoft, Skype calling on Alexa will “begin rolling out later this year.” In the meantime you can cast your eye over all of the new Echo devices and decide whether it’s time to upgrade to an Echo Show purely for Skype video calls. It probably isn’t.
Further Reading for Alexa Noobs and Veterans
If the integration of Skype has piqued your interest into all things Alexa you should check out our review of the original Amazon Echo. Or if you’re already in the game check out some of these creative uses for your Amazon Echo and Alexa.