Amazon Alexa for Windows 10 Goes Hands-Free

Posted on May 6, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Amazon, Cloud, Smart Home, Windows 10 with 9 Comments

Amazon released a new version of its Alexa app for Windows 10 that runs in the background and enables hands-free use.

“Today, Amazon released a new version of the Alexa app for Windows 10 PCs that allows customers to access the experience hands-free on Windows 10 devices,” an Amazon representative said. “This means you can easily invoke Alexa regardless of whether the app is running in the foreground or background – all you need to do is ask. In addition to enabling wake-word capabilities, today’s update also adds support for Pandora, letting customers play their favorite stations through Alexa.”

Alexa’s emergence on Windows 10 occurred after Microsoft and Amazon announced that they would integrate Cortana, Microsoft’s failed digital personal assistant, with Alexa. Amazon announced the Alexa app for Windows 10 in January 2018. At the time, it was available to PC makers to add to their PCs. But the app was made available to all Windows 10 users that November.

If you’re using Alexa for Windows 10, it will auto-update to the new version. If not, you can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.

Hat-tip: I found out about the new Alexa app for Windows 10 from Neowin.

Tagged with

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (9)

9 responses to “Amazon Alexa for Windows 10 Goes Hands-Free”

  1. Avatar

    glenn8878

    Where do you ask Alexa? Windows PCs don't come with microphones as standard equipment. It should be quite nice if you can plug in an Echo device via USB so it becomes the default speaker and microphone for Windows desktop PC.

    • Avatar

      dontbe evil

      In reply to glenn8878:


      from gibber comment:

      "According to the steam hardware survey, 99.97% of Windows PCs have microphones. That... does seem high, I must admit."


      and I can add 100% of latptops/2in1/allinone has a mic

      • Avatar

        Greg Green

        In reply to dontbe_evil:

        But steam has only 90m monthly active players, so that’s less than one twelfth of Windows PCs. Maybe even a fifteenth.


        On the other hand Statista has desktops as only 24% of the PCs sold in the last five years, with laptops at 36% and tablets at 41%, so while most desktops probably don't have mikes, most PCs almost certainly do.

  2. Avatar

    gibber

    According to the steam hardware survey, 99.97% of Windows PCs have microphones. That... does seem high, I must admit.

    • Avatar

      garethb

      In reply to gibber:

      Between headsets, webcams and laptops, it doesn't appear particularly surprising that most gamers would have something..

    • Avatar

      Rob_Wade

      In reply to gibber:

      I think it's probably right. Seriously, I think laptops are eating into the PC market more and more and, of course, they have built-in webcams and microphones. And I'll bet desktop PCs are more likely to have a webcam or headset microphone than not. Heck, just in our household we have three Surface Pro's and a Surface Go, our server has a webcam, and my studio computer has three webcams (for netcasting). Our Xbox has the Kinect. So, yeah, this makes sense.

  3. Avatar

    bleeman

    Now they just need to implement the option to change the Wake Word. Instead of Alexa I think it would make more sense to switch it to the alternate Computer. After all that's what you'll be talking to if you implement this.

  4. Avatar

    Rob_Wade

    But not a peep about how Microsoft is actually doubling-down on Cortana and gunning to make it much more conversational and multi-turn? I actually think this is huge. The big step they're missing, though, is that they need to make Cortana as hands-free on Android as it is on PC and Windows phones. We rely on this all day, and it's a huge part of why we refuse to give up our Lumia's. That they allowed Alexa to have the same use-while-locked capability on Windows should be a CLUE that they need to push for this for Cortana on Android.

  5. Avatar

    ausculta

    The link to the MS store seems broken. Remove "&CID=a4pc-pr-1" from the end of the URL and it works.

Leave a Reply