Amazon and Microsoft team up to bring Skype calling to Alexa devices

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Amazon's Alexa-powered devices are certainly the market leaders in the smart speaker category. "Use Alexa-enabled devices like the Echo Dot to make hands-free Skype voice calls wherever Alexa and Skype are available or place high-fidelity Skype video calls from the Echo Show and Echo Spot directly to Skype on computers and mobile devices", states the Microsoft Skype blog post.

Amazon has combined with Microsoft's Skype to allow calls to be made on all its devices that use Alexa.

To that second point, Microsoft has just announced that Skype calling is now available via Alexa, with Amazon's Echo hardware supporting basic Skype calling.

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It's not just Microsoft, of course. Well, it's later in the year, and the new functionality is rolling out starting today. Per The Verge, Pandora Premium users are now able to stream songs, full albums, and playlists to Echo devices, and you can also set Pandora as the default music library on Alexa. Skype can be activated through the Amazon Alexa app, through the Communications tab within Settings.

Amazon's new "Wake-on-LAN Controller" feature will let Alexa users power on TVs and other smart home devices that have gone into low-power mode and thus can't be reached via the cloud. To start using the services, the user needs to link Skype with their Alexa account and then follow the instructions mentioned below. There's no question that the voice assistant built into Windows and Xbox hasn't been an effective rival to Amazon and Google's versions, and during 2018, we've seen a growing partnership between Redmond and Amazon. "Microsoft also just started selling Amazon's Echo devices in its retail stores in the United States this weekend".

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