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Alexa and Cortana to join forces

SAN FRANCISCO: Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana will start talking to each other in a first of its kind alliance of rival digital assistants, the companies said on Wednesday. Amazon Echo device users will be able to ask Alexa to bring in Cortana as a "guest" to tend to tasks such as booking meetings or reading work email. Meanwhile, those with devices powered by Windows 10 software will be able to have Cortana bring in Alexa for tasks such as controlling smart devices in homes or, of course, ordering items from…

Samsung’s assistant Bixby in tough challenge to rivals

Samsung's Bixby is the new kid on the block of personal digital assistants and is likely to face a rough reception in a neighborhood dominated by tech sector rivals. Bixby -- introduced at Samsung's unveiling of Galaxy S8 smartphones -- aims to help the South Korean giant break into a surging market for voice-activated virtual assistants, which includes Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant and Microsoft's Cortana. The latest personal digital assistant distinguishes itself from competitors by using voice…