Amazon is Bringing Alexa to Windows 10 PCs This Spring

Alexa Comes to PCs and Accessory Devices

Amazon is continuing its quest to put Alexa into every corner of your digital life as the company today announces that the voice assistant will be soon available on Windows 10 computers, the home turf of Microsoft's Cortana.

With Amazon Alexa, users with compatible Acer notebooks and PCs can get more done by asking Alexa to check their calendar, create lists and answer questions; be entertained by asking Alexa to play their favourite music, podcasts or audiobooks.

The announcement comes hot, or rather lukewarm, on the heels of last summer's alliance between Amazon and Microsoft, whereby the two internet giants pledged to integrate their voice assistants (Alexa and Cortana respectively) by the end of 2017.

Out of the big PC OEMs like HP, Lenovo, and Asus, HP has taken the first step and teased its HP Pavilion Wave system with Alexa for Windows 10.

Just like Alexa in a smart speaker, a colorful LED on the front of the Pavilion Wave lights up to let you know when Alexa is listening (and recording) for a command.

However, Stanton warns Amazon could use Alexa to sell more products through Windows.

Google Assistant, meanwhile, has expanded from Android devices to Google Home speakers and third-party devices, as well.

Microsoft would be better served to see Cortana as a connective tissue, as a framework for people who want to get serious work done, and for business users. Microsoft could also stand to do more with the Cortana Skills platform, which now sports 250-300 skills, when Alexa has 250, 000 at its disposal. You'll need an Alexa device like the Echo or an Acer PC; download the Acer Projector Smart Home skill and say things like "Alexa, turn on the projector", "Alexa, select HDMI as the projector source", or "Alexa, change projector display mode to bright". Other Acer machines with dual microphones will allow users to activate Alexa from within three feet, the company says.

As part of the Alexa push, Acer has promised to bring the digital helper to select Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks. Some of the new devices will use Intel's Smart Sound Technology, an integrated audio DSP, for improved audio, voice, and speech interactions with Alexa.

People can already access Alexa on their PCs through an Amazon-sanctioned website for developers to test their Alexa apps, or skills, built for the Echo. Details on ASUS's Alexa integration weren't immediately available.

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