Alexa and Cortana Teamed Up, But Consumer Tech Is Still Stuck in an Ecosystem War. The voice interfaces Cortana and Alexa will soon be able to activate each other for functions that one does better than the other, Amazon and Microsoft announced today. Its the kind of cooperation that we dont see enough between the Big Five, or really any company thats grown out of its desperately cobble together partnerships so we look relevant phase and into its abandon all cooperation that doesnt lock customers into our shitty ecosystem phase. Cortana and Alexas competitors, Google Assistant and Siri, wont be integrating any time soon. As Gizmodo notes, Google and Apple have far more users locked into their ecosystems, so they have far less incentive to cooperate with competing systems. By combining forces, Microsoft and Amazon are admitting theyve lost the war for mobile, the dominant user interface now, and holding onto their own core competencies Microsoft for business communication, Amazon for consumption. Meanwhile, though Google Assistant runs on i. OS, its very limited and cant be activated without opening an app. Siri wont run at all on Android. And even on its native platform, Siri wont control best in class apps like Spotify, Gmail, or Google Maps. Google Assistant is more flexible, but it cant order things on Amazon the way Alexa can. Paranormal activity has met its match in the PC Not a MaxvonSydowlike Exorcist, but a ghosthunting ScoobyDoo and his teen sidekicks. The following. Google is compensated by these merchants. Payment is one of several factors used to rank these results. Tax and shipping costs are estimates. Head to Gettysburg Ghost Tours in Gettysburg for a great adventure and break from the same old same old. There are plenty of public parking options for you to take. Price 20. 50httpsgizmodo. IDSERP,5164. 1The Next Big Windows Update Is Coming to Your Computer. This update will see the death of the old email program Outlook Express, as well as the depreciation of the popular Paint application. As Microsoft told Gizmodo back. The only place you need to go for laptop computer reviews and gaming laptop reviews is Computer Shopper the online leader in laptop reviews. I/71v9Y1N4hxL._SX522_.jpg' alt='Computer Ghost Hunting Software For Laptop' title='Computer Ghost Hunting Software For Laptop' />You can run Alexa on Android, but only through Amazons app, and again with limitations. Your device also wont play well with a competing desktop OS Apples Handoff and i. Cloud make i. Phones and Macs work together seamlessly, whereas coordinating an Android phone with a Mac is clunky, and plugging an i. As a customer choosing a phone, computer, and media player, youre stuck with three choices Buy into an ecosystem that inevitably has some crappy elements. Phone into a Windows machine is eye twitchingly uncomfortable, thanks to Apples lousy Windows port of i. Tunes. The TV ecosystem is just as bad, largely thanks to Amazons own selfish decisions. Amazon still hasnt released its promised Apple TV app, so Prime customers have to stream Transparent and Curb Your Enthusiasm from their phones. There are no plans for an Amazon app on the Chromecast, or for Spotify on Apple TV. You can retreat to a third party media player like Roku, but then you cant play videos purchased through i. Tunes without a wonky file conversion. Starting at the end of this month, Amazon will no longer sell the Chromecast or Apple TV. AndRead more Read. Meanwhile, Facebook runs around kind of integrating with all these other services while trying to push its own messaging and sharing platforms, and burying every post that dares link to You. Tube or Twitter. As a customer choosing a phone, computer, and media player, youre stuck with three choices Buy into an ecosystem that inevitably has some crappy elements. You could choose Google, and miss out on Apples slick interface and seamless desktop to mobile integration. Or choose Apple, lose a lot of third party functionality, and get locked into increasingly bizarre design choices your Lightning headphones wont work on your laptop and inferior software like Apple Maps, Mail, and Calendar. On desktop, choose Windows and miss out on that same integration, or choose Apple, pay more for the same computing power, and get your computer games a year late. Straddle ecosystems, running the Google Suite instead of MS Office and hooking your i. Phone up to your PC or your Android to your Mac. Run Spotify, buy an Echo, and live with their limited capabilities. Maybe even run Excel on OS X. All but the most basic users reach outside their main ecosystem at some point. Install Linux on your Chromebook, jailbreak your i. Phone, run Cortana on your Fit. Bit, hack your Echo to play Tidal, and write a viral Medium post encouraging people to unplug. In the short term, all these companies have good reasons to lock up their platforms wherever they still think they can steal market share from the others, and wherever they would rather focus resources on improving their own service instead of handing millions of customers to their competitors through a partnership. But in the long term, this lock in keeps the Big Five from innovating, their products leaning on the crutch of the ecosystem, alienating customers who will then abandon the ecosystem for third party services like Spotify, Dropbox, Whats. App, 1. Password, and Overcast. OS has a bunch of great podcast managers these days, but after testing all of them, our favoriteRead more Read. Historically, these ecosystems tend to open up, making way for the next battle. Macs and PCs didnt always run so many of the same apps. Internet Explorer and Netscape were much more mutually exclusive than Chrome and Safari. And for a while, your Internet came in flavors of AOL, Prodigy, or Compu. Serve. Even Android and i. OS used to have zero apps in common. But each time, interoperability won out, bringing most of each platforms strengths to everyone. But things could get worse before they get better. The Big Five are all racing to win at online payments, wearables, AI, AR, VR, smart homes, smart cars, and the growing Internet of Things. Nvidia Control Panel Windows 7 32 Bit. And as long as each company thinks it can win, it will try to push out the others instead of playing nice. Eventually there will be winners and losers, or decentralized cooperation. Every now and then, a new protocol will open up thats as decentralized as email or HTTP. And the giants of the day will move onto a new fight. In the meantime, theres nearly always some way to force the ecosystems to play together, at the expense of simplicity and not having your shit constantly break. Theres always some third option to jimmy into the gap and outperform all the defaults. And thats what Lifehackers all about.