Amazon’s ambitions for its Alexa voice assistant may extend from the living room to the PC. According to CNET, the company has held talks with Lenovo to integrate the software into Windows computers, presumably where it would either work with or replace Microsoft’s Cortana. The details of these discussions are sparse, and the report states that any potential partnership is still in its earliest stages. However, extending Alexa from the Echo speaker and other third-party devices to a major computing platform would mark a significant victory in Amazon’s bid to control the digital assistant market.
Since the introduction of Alexa as part of the Echo speaker in 2014, Amazon has become a surprise leader in the field of voice-based digital assistants. The Echo has been a big hit, leading hardware sales for the e-commerce company. Alexa has also found its way into additional Amazon-made speakers, as well as third-party products from appliance makers like Triby. And each and every week, Amazon has pushed out new updates for Alexa, with some containing substantial upgrades to let it play games, perform more smartphone-like tasks, and work with an expansive list of third-party products and services.
Amazon's success in the living room gives it an edge over competing voice assistants
The success of Alexa and the Echo have pushed competitors with arguably superior artificial intelligence technology to develop hardware products of their own. At its I/O developer conference in May, Google announced its own Echo competitor, called Google Home, which will be powered by a new voice-based software product it calls Google Assistant. Apple too is also rumored to be working on a Echo competitor of its own that bakes Siri into a living room speaker. So with Amazon’s successes in the living room, it’s only natural the company would consider moving into PC territory. Although it does face steeper competition there from Google, Cortana, and Siri, which is coming to macOS Sierra next month.