Amazon Alexa Arrives On Windows 10 PCs

HP’s Pavilion Wave desktop PC already looks like a connected speaker

HP’s Pavilion Wave desktop PC already looks like a connected speaker

Customers who connect their devices with the Amazon Alexa App will have access to all the features available through AVS, including streaming media, smart home capabilities, calendar management, weather updates, and thousands of Alexa skills. After enabling the Acer Projector Smart Home skill on either an Echo device or a compatible PC Alexa will respond to commands such as: "Alexa, turn on the projector", "Alexa, select HDMI as the projector source", or "Alexa, change projector display mode to bright". That computer, like Acer's Amazon-supported PCs, also contains custom Intel audio processors that are meant to help Alexa better hear and respond to people's voices.

Users control Alexa using their voices, and activate her using a wake word - "Alexa". For instance, Alexa can order a Domino's pizza for you, or even arrange an Uber pick-up. As per HP, this PC delivers a powerful computing experience and fantastic audio with the help of Amazon Alexa digital assistant.

Amazon’s Alexa app for Windows
Amazon’s Alexa app for Windows

It's an interesting move for Microsoft, given that the company already offers its own voice-controlled assistant, Cortana. The rollout of the Alexa-Cortana integration, announced past year, has been delayed but is expected to start soon.

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.

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But the company is probably more interested on giving PCs users more choice, in an attempt to shut Apple's Mac devices and Siri assistant out of the market. In service to this, Microsoft could also improve support for Bing globally, to make it more than a running joke and more of a global product.

It would be trivial to say that Microsoft should work with more manufacturers of smart speakers and cars to integrate Cortana in their systems because one would expect the firm is already doing that. With the new integration by PC makers, Amazon could be in a position to leverage Alexa's high profile in the home to overshadow Cortana on Windows PCs. "The true goal of Amazon is to promote its services, and bolster its base of Amazon Prime subscribers".

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In addition to coming to its first personal computer, on Friday Amazon released the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit to bring the AI assistant to more wearables, headphones, and smartwatches.

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