Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Tech | By Amelia Peters

Amazon Alexa is Coming to Windows 10 Computers

Amazon Alexa will soon arrive on Windows PCs, creating new competition for Microsoft's built-in Cortana voice assistant.

Computer manufacturers HP, ASUS, and Acer are all adding support for the Amazon Alexa digital assistant, with more companies likely to continue the trend. Manufacturers have mentioned that they will use Intel's Smart sound an integrated audio DSP (Digital Signal Processor) built to handle audio, voice, and speech interactions to pick up the Alexa wake word.

Amazon and Microsoft said that Alexa and Cortana would be able to talk to each other by the end of the 2017, but the two personal assistants have yet to receive this functionality until today. Acer just revealed a wide range of products that will ship with Alexa integration, including a variety of notebooks, all-in-one desktops, and a new 4K projector.

Although most people interact with the Alexa voice assistant through Amazon's web-connected speakers, the Echo and the Echo Dot, the online retail giant has been increasingly courting third-party companies to embed Alexa in their own devices. Several OEMs, including Bose, Jabra, iHome, Beyerdynamic, Bowers and Wilkins are already working on voice-controlled Alexa experiences on their products and device makers are invited to signup to be notified when the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit is made available later this year. "By introducing voice services like Alexa paired with Intel Smart Sound Technology, we anticipate that the PC will serve an even more important role in maximizing your productivity, getting the most from your entertainment, and managing the smart home or office".

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While it's unclear how many customers will be enticed by these specific Windows PCs, Amazon should be very happy about having HP, Acer and Asus commit to supporting Alexa. Amazon Alexa has spread from the company's Echo speakers into a growing number of third-party devices, in settings ranging from the auto to the bathroom. According to the details then provided, Alexa and Cortana will be able to integrate with each other across their respective ecosystems.

"It's day one for Alexa on PCs and we are excited that PC customers will have access to hands-free Alexa voice capabilities and tens of thousands of skills".

Acer's new wireless projectors also support Amazon Alexa.

As of mid-December, Amazon was said to have a roster of an estimated 25,000 Alexa skills, while Cortana was said to be on 230.

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