Users of Amazon's Echo smart speaker can now set Outlook as a default calendar for the Alexa service to access.
Outlook users can set Microsoft's web-based calendar as the default option for their Amazon Echo and other Alexa-powered devices: Microsoft said this includes accounts with email addresses ending in @outlook.com, @hotmail.com and @live.com.
They can then check or add events by voice. For example, you can ask: "Alexa, add 'dinner with Katie' to my calendar," or "Alexa, what's on my calendar today?"
It's not the first calendar for Alexa; the service has integrated Google Calendar since it was launched, but it also shows Microsoft's determination to have its services available on as many devices as possible, even if it doesn't make them.
The move also reflects the continuing momentum behind Amazon's smart device with its embedded voice-powered digital assistant, Alexa, which has evolved from a novelty into the next big thing in technology. The Alexa service is being integrated with devices ranging from from washing machines to smart door locks.
Also, according to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is also looking at how the Amazon Echo could be used for voice calls too. It's hardly a big stretch: the device already has a microphone, a speaker and a web connection: however, according to the WSJ there are still privacy and regulatory issues to be resolved.
Check Amazon's support website for instructions on how to set Outlook as the default calendar.
More on the Amazon Echo
- Amazon Echo: The four hard problems Amazon had to solve to make it work
- Amazon Echo voice-controlled smart speaker comes to UK and Germany
- Amazon intros cheaper Echo Dot, priced at $49.99
- Amazon Echo review: Alexa is the first digital assistant that is actually helpful
- Apple's Echo rival reportedly has a prototype, complete with cameras