Thursday, 18 January, 2018

CES 2018: Amazon is bringing Alexa to select Windows PCs this year

Amazon Alexa is coming to Windows 10 PCs Acer to Bring Amazon Alexa to PCs in 2018
June Sullivan | 09 January, 2018, 02:13

If this sounds like Alexa on steroids, there are caveats; PCs and laptops running the app will forego some of the software's functionality, including messaging, calling, Spotify, Amazon video and controlling security cameras and other smart home devices. "A voice interface can make everyday tasks simpler for customers - now that includes their desktop and laptop PCs, too", an Amazon spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email. A few PC makers have also stated that they'll be enabling far-field voice recognition as well for invoking Alexa hands-free. Acer already integrates Alexa into its Acer Air Monitor.

Meanwhile, Google has been making the "Hey, Google" wake-word of its rival service visible on every possible surface at CES as the battle between it and Alexa seems set to accelerate.

The exact same features will be available on Windows PCs once the new app goes live, which is great news for PC owners. As per HP, this PC delivers a powerful computing experience and fantastic audio with the help of Amazon Alexa digital assistant. "This is a big step toward making Alexa available wherever customers might need her".

He says that each assistant "brings aspects the other lacks", highlighting Alexa's skill at shopping and music, and Cortana's natural Windows integration. 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.

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. See the most important products that will impact businesses and professionals.

Speaking to The Sun, Canalys analyst Ben Stanton said: "This is not the end for Cortana".

Unlike Microsoft Cortana, however, Amazon Alexa will live as a standalone third-party application for obvious reasons. "The true goal of Amazon is to promote its services, and bolster its base of Amazon Prime subscribers".

Acer announced in its own press release that it would be rolling out Alexa to certain Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks, as well as releasing Aspire all-in-one PCs in the first quarter of 2018. Notebooks with Acer Purified.Voice and four digital microphones, like the Switch 7 Black Edition and Spin 5, will support Alexa from up to 9 feet away.

READ NEXT: Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

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