Amazon Alexa is coming to Windows 10 PCs

Amazon’s Echo Dot
Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant is seemingly everywhere these days, and now it’s arriving on Windows 10 PCs to challenge Microsoft’s built-in Cortana assistant. HP, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer all plan to integrate Alexa into a range of Windows 10 laptops and desktops being released this year. It’s the next logical step that will see Alexa appear on thousands of machines.

The integration requires a special Alexa app for Windows that will be available in the spring, and most PC makers appear to be integrating Alexa on devices that are capable of far-field voice recognition to ensure there’s a good experience for the assistant. HP is bringing Alexa to its Pavillion Wave PC, a sleek desktop PC that looks more like a speaker than a computer. Lenovo is also bringing Alexa to laptops, and we’ll have more details to share on those soon.

This separate integration is different to the partnership that Microsoft and Amazon announced last year. Both companies promised to integrate Alexa and Cortana together by the end of 2017, but they both missed the cross-platform integration target date. Amazon is now pushing ahead with this separate app, which includes a basic way to access the type of information you’d find in the online Alexa web interface or mobile apps. The app will also listen for the Alexa wake word, or you can use a keyboard shortcut to trigger the assistant.

Amazon and its PC maker partners are unveiling this new partnership at CES this week, a fitting venue for such an announcement. Google is at the show in a big way this year, with lots of “Hey, Google” signage around the Las Vegas convention center. 2018 looks to be another year of intense competition between the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and now Cortana has competition on the Windows side thanks to Alexa.

Comments

Cortana just got body slammed. RIP

Pretty much my first thought…

Microsoft keeps losing on the services front.

If they go on like this, in a few years the only thing keeping people tied to Microsfot will be the Office Suite…

This separate integration is different to the partnership that Microsoft and Amazon announced last year.

I’m sure that partnership is now kaput.
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On the plus side, Microsoft can go all out with tight Surface integration with their own offerings? Especially now that OEMs are cozying up to Amazon. ¯\(ツ)

If Microsoft is smart, it’ll be the opposite. They should encourage other companies to bring their digital assistant to the Microsoft Store and add more integration options, like Google does with Android.

Yeah, at the end of the day they don’t care if people are choosing Alexa over Cortana… it’s the fact that they’re doing so on Windows.

This is really too funny. Alexa is coming to PC, yay! Meanwhile, Cortana was on PC all this time, with Microsoft claiming this is where a digital assistant should really be, and like, crickets … This is quite predictable. All these hyped new techs, they always wend their way back to the existing framework, only they use the hype and muscle to bring something a little bit new, and then, they take over. Its happened many times since the internet became a thing.

Regarding Alexa, Bezos sees there are 3 major platforms, Android, MacOS/iOS, & Windows. On which of these does he have a chance to bring his AI and take over. He has zero chance on any of the others, only on Windows. It is open, like Android, but unlike Android, the platform owner either doesn’t understand the basis of success in consumer tech, or doesn’t care, and the AI is certainly close to non-existent. So, all the moves whether partnering (head fake?) with Microsoft or trying to bypass Microsoft to PC makers, they are all aiming at the same thing, he absolutely needs to take over this platform in order for the AI to have a long-term chance against Google. You can think of this as basically the way Google Chrome took over Windows as the port to the Internet. Alexa is currently doing the same thing.

Why did this happen, why does this keep happening, to Microsoft? Because Microsoft for whatever reason does not play the consumer tech game the way the other big competition play it. Others invest very heavily, very early, without any clear business model, because they believe that fundamentally, users are a currency. This is the 1 difference. Microsoft simply can’t make this leap. Microsoft has made some noise about valuing users, but they clearly don’t get it yet, or don’t really care but feel they have to behave as if they do. They appear to make elementary mistakes like rewriting a few lines of code, which reassign Bing usage to Cortana, and call that user growth for Cortana. It shows they are lost, or simply feel they have to humor people for a while, while doing what they really want to do, then when the time is right, they pull the plug.

When you read about digital assistants you always see "Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa" and I ask myself, "where’s Cortana?". Guess I’ll be asking myself that question a lot more in future

I don’t have any Alexa devices. I wonder what the answer would be if you asked "Where’s Cortana?"

Even better than asking yourself, you can ask Alexa.

People still use Siri? It seemed like a fad that has expired that no one even talks about any more. It is either Alexa or Google or SmartThings.

Siri is still the most-used digital assistant.

I’ve found Siri useful on a Mac. Cortana I now have disabled, its useless.

Siri?

it’s all Alexa and Google.

Cortana and Siri have fallen behind in many respects, mostly in features and functionality.

When the story of Microsoft’s Cortana failure is told, it’ll be mentioned how Microsoft had 10 million camera equipped Kinect 2 connected to Xbox One consoles, each with enough far field cameras to pick up audio from across the room…yet not only failed to do the common sense thing and make Cortana work on them, but canceled the entire Kinect line and launched a smart speaker with Harmon Kardon that is struggling to sell at a heavily discounted $100.

Sheer incompetence and lack of vision.

It blows my mind that Microsoft haven’t spent the last year or 2, since Echos started becoming a thing, making Cortana the digital assistant people already own. Integrate with XBox through Kinect and/or a far field microphone accessory. Sell $30-50 ‘dumb’ speaker and mic pods that connect to Windows 10 PCs on the same wifi network to work like an Echo. And above all actually work on making Cortana awesome so that people don’t even see why they would bother getting another device.

But instead it took them a year to get the Invoke into the market after they were already late to the game and now it seems to have sunk without a trace

Remember that time Microsoft was the largest name in tables or when they had a smart phone os before iOS and android made it big?

I also remember the time when Microsoft was slammed for having an always-listening Xbox. People sure changed their opinions when Echo and Google Home came along.

This always seem to be an issue with Microsoft. They are either too early to the party or too late and it never seems to workout well for them.

I guess a problem is Microsoft tries to integrate everything into the platform from the beginning. Consumer minds don’t work that way. Instead, with a new idea, you often need to provide the pure thing (to be fair, even that doesn’t always work, look at Google Glass). But a pure thing, the "listening device, spying device" or whatchamacallit, stands a much better chance the first time out, because there it can find it’s early adopter segment, which is the vital ignition fuel in the product lifecycle

But when you go put the technology into Xbox at the very beginning of a new idea, the loud complaints of those who don’t like it (and humans generally are suspicious of change) easily overwhelm any early adopter segment who find it valuable. You can make slightly similar analogies with other products – Microsoft always goes for the integration. Even right here with Cortana, they were busy putting it on Windows, on iOS, Android, while Amazon was investing in partners and skills for a simple pure speaker doing simple things, Microsoft was busy porting to platforms right away without developing actual use cases. They were fighting the last mobile war. But getting to the platform, that is the end game not the opening, they do not know how to play the opening. Always, they always try first for this platform integration, look at what they are doing in VR. See how many months or years Occulus, HTC, Sony got on them to market, for a tech where they had at least the same capabilities. Took them that long for only 1 reason, they were porting to Windows first. They play the end game at the opening. Always. It’s quite sad to watch.

all i remember is everyone making a huge deal about Kinect and how MS would always be listening and spying on us.

now we are okay with devices "spying" on us.

Don’t know why Microsoft continues to shoot themselves in the foot. Each time they invite a competitor onto their platform (or they bring their software to other platforms), their own products are the ones that suffers.

It’s like they have two competing philosophy going at the same time, playing nice with everyone while at the same time pushing their own competing products. But as we’ve seen with mobile, they can’t do both. It’s either you’re pushing your own products hard or pushing your competitors, pick one. Now everyone will be ignoring Cortana and developing for Alexa on PC.

It’s not like they can tell Alexa it’s not allowed on Windows. They know all about anti competitive practices.

This new Microsoft under Satya goes out and form partnership with the competitor like Amazon to make it easier I guess for them.

Look how Amazon and Google are treating each other’s products, like real competitors. Microsoft is just all open arms.

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