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


After much anticipation, Amazon Alexa has now eventually debuted on Windows 10 PCs and will sit alongside Microsoft's preloaded Cortana assistant.

According to Mehedi Hassan of Thurrott.com, Asus and Lenovo are also building new Windows 10 devices to bring a widen availability of Alexa in the market of Windows PCs. The Alexa integration will be delivered via a Windows that always listen to the "Alexa" voice command, and the app will also support keyboard shortcuts. Acer's Spin 5 and Switch 7 Black Edition notebooks will include four microphones to support far-field voice recognition for Alexa up to nine feet away.

Cortana will soon have a new friend (or foe) on Windows PCs: Alexa.

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. We have yet to see this concept brought to life, so my money is on the dedicated Alexa app shipping before integration with Cortana becomes a usable feature. 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. These upliftments are available to enhance Alexa experience.

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For example, the HP Pavilion Wave comes with a special LED that lights up to show that Alexa is listening. The app will be available this Spring. With Alexa enabled, you can ask your laptop or desktop to do anything you might ask of your Echo device: check calendars, create lists and answer questions, play music, and manage smart home devices.

Amazon's latest partnership with PC OEMs is separate from its partnership with Microsoft that aims to have Alexa and Cortana speak to each other.

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.

Amazon made the announcement at CES 2018, happening in Las Vegas this week.