Microsoft's Cortana Assistant is said to be more of an aid than a stand-alone service. He joined the Experiences & Devices team from Microsoft's AI + Research department and works with Amazon to pair him with the company's Alexa technology. Now, per Engadget, Microsoft seems to encourage customers to buy only Alexa technology like the recently released Echo Dot and regular Echo and use Cortana.
Per Engadget, Twitter user Walking Cat and others noted that both devices appear to be offered for sale in the online and retail Microsoft. The website wrote that the tech giant had apparently admitted that most intelligent assistant users would use Alexa, not the remarkably less versatile Cortana, for routine purposes:
There, Microsoft originally used Cortana as a direct competitor to other mainstream language assistants, The focus of the AI helper has shifted to chatbots and behind-the-scenes tasks that are more useful to the business group than to home users. Cortana's VP, Javier Soltero, is reportedly leaving Microsoft as the company relocates its assistant from its AI team to its Experiences and Devices group. Alexa seems to be Microsoft's preferred language assistant for the everyday user.
As Verge noted, Microsoft has re-launched Cortana's use of customer-support smart chat bots, and has re-engineered the way Windows search works. In addition, Slashgear pointed out that the partnership with Amazon includes features such as Skype calls through Alexa devices.
Since Cortana seems to be less important to Microsoft, three key players remain in the market for voice assistants: Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple's Siri. That's not to say that things work out well for everyone: Siri is the stupidest of them all. He has recently appeared on the news, including comic legend Stan Lee's erroneous announcement and activation during a British Parliament hearing on Syria. As far as Alexa is concerned, nobody seems to buy anything as the manufacturers intended.