Amazon Bringing Alexa to Windows 10 PCs

Posted on January 8, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows 10 with 54 Comments

After smart speakers, smart displays, and a bunch of other gadgets, Amazon is bringing its Alexa smart assistant to Windows 10 PCs. The company is partnering with some of the biggest Windows device makers, including the likes of Lenovo, HP, Asus, and Acer, to bring Alexa to new Windows 10 devices this year.

Alexa will come pre-installed as an app on devices with support for the smart assistant. Lenovo, HP, Asus, and Acer are building new Windows 10 devices–some of which are getting unveiled at CES this week–with far-field microphones that will let users activate Alexa with its hotword. Alexa will present responses to questions with visuals on Windows 10, just like Cortana.

The arrival of Alexa on Windows 10 PCs isn’t something part of Amazon’s recent partnership with Microsoft. The move from Amazon, therefore, is certainly an interesting development to the story. Both Amazon and Microsoft recently partnered to integrate their respective smart assistants, allowing users to use either Alexa or Cortana on devices. That was supposed to arrive in December, but the release later got delayed without any information from either of the companies.

Alexa on Windows 10 PCs will automatically be way ahead of Cortana in terms of functionality. Amazon has more than 25 thousand Alexa Skills, which is impeccable when compared to Microsoft’s mere collection of approximately 300 Cortana Skills. And needless to mention, Cortana’s development has stalled in the recent months, gaining almost no notable feature.

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Comments (61)

61 responses to “Amazon Bringing Alexa to Windows 10 PCs”

  1. Mehedi Hassan

    Only a matter of time till Microsoft dumps Cortana, methinks.

  2. slbailey1

    If Amazon can bring Alexa to PCs then then should bring there Kindle and Music apps to PCs. At a minimum as PWA with offline capabilities.

  3. jimchamplin

    Oh. Only on new machines?


    If I can’t install it on my box and use it without a microphone, it’s nothing but a cute novelty.

  4. Winner

    Microsoft was once again late to the table with Cortana. I think we should put her out to pasture.

  5. Chris Payne

    This is gotta sting for Microsoft. Wouldn't be surprised if Alexa on Windows get more (real) usage than Cortana. I say "real" because MS counts almost every interaction in Windows as Cortana usage.

  6. chrisrut

    "Cortana’s development has stalled in the recent months, gaining almost no notable feature." Which you interpret as meaning what? That no development is ongoing? No product manager would ever proceed on that basis: hope for the best, plan for the worst. While the cynics might be right, that MS is just going to drop the whole thing, it is FAR more likely they don't want to play poker with all their cards face up on the table.

  7. chrisrut

    BTW: the first sentence in the third paragraph needs a bit of an edit...

  8. chrisrut

    Yes, Alexa will have those 25,000 skills. But Alexa plus Cortana would marry all dem' skills with deep user integration. But obviously, no one at Amazon or Microsoft was bright enough to figure that out, right? You could be right.

    I'm in a very sarcastic mood today...

  9. SoundersFan

    Is this a store app? From the article, this sounds like an OEM pre-installed app. However, if it is an app available from the store (UWP or centennial) perhaps this app could be a small piece of a bigger puzzle to get Microsoft and Google to work more closely together. Ergo, getting Chrome and other google properties (like Google Home/Assistant) into the store.

  10. donald0

    So I got an Echo Spot for Christmas, put it next to my PC Monitor. Did I accidently integrate Alexa to my PC (and get a free clock in the process)?

  11. allanwith

    The most used pieces of software on Windows will be:

    iTunes

    Chrome

    Alexa

    ... and maybe Office :)

  12. Bats

    LOL...this is soooooooooo freakin funny. Funny, in not a good way, though. I don't know how this is going to work, with Amazon Alexa on PCs, but one can assume that this move is going to usurp Cortana on PCs. 

    Having an "Assistant" is a very personal thing for people. A human assistant, isn't just a "secretary", but more like an extension of oneself. That's because the Assistant is supposed to know his/her boss very well and is available at a beckon call. It can even be said that the Assistant is supposed to think and know exactly what the Boss wants.The same thing can be said with a digitial assistant. This is why it's so cool to have one available, where it can be. In the kitchen, bedroom, office, ..... bathroom. 

    If Alexa is going to be integrated onto a Windows PC, who is the user going to call for any "on the fly" information? The better bet would be the Ghostbusters, rather than Cortana. 

    For me, I already have Alexa and the Google Assistant control the thermostat in my house and now my (new) car. In these very cold times in Northeast, I could tell Alexa or Google Assitant to start my car in the morning, 10 minutes before I drove off to work, without even searching for my phone. I wouldn't be able to do that with Cortana because a) Cortana is not available for my car. Is it available for any car? b) It's not accessible anywhere because Microsoft has failed to expand it's use outside the personal computing device.

    I don't even know why Microsoft developed Cortana. I would imagine that, once Google develops something where the (fabulous) Google Assistant can work on a PC seamlessly, then Cortana is done (D.O.N.E....done). This is why Microsoft users are taking a big gamble"investing" in that Harmon Kardon, or any Microsoft (hardware) device, like that GLAS. LOL...go ahead spend $300+ for that Cortana controlled thermostat. Chances are, in a few years, GLAS will be like the new Betamax.

    Not just that, but Cortana isn't very good. Last time I used Cortana was when I asked her, "Who played Rhaegar Tagaryan on Game of Thrones?" LOL...Cortana wasn't able to tell me at the moment, but instead showed me Bing results for the furniture store Raymour and Flanigan. I'm betting that if Alexa is replaced by Cortana in the PC, it's going to get me better and more accurate information. 

    Oh Well. What can you do?

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to Bats:

      Beck and call, not “beckon call.” :)


      But honestly, I’m sliding into that part of the population that wonders why I need an assistant on the PC. I can put a Google Home right beside it. I wouldn’t be too surprised though, if they bring the Assistant to Chrome.


      The one thing that I love about Cortana is that I don’t have to talk to make her do stuff. I can type. Alexa or the Google Assistant won’t let you type most likely.

    • TigerBalm7

      LOL...this is soooooooooo freakin funny. Funny, in not a good way, though. I don't know how this is going to work, with Amazon Alexa on PCs, but one can assume that this move is going to usurp Cortana on PCs. 


      Yep. Alexa will also be available almost worldwide. Cortana?....Nope, still waiting here in the Caribbean. Laughable

  13. wiederman

    Hope this app is made available to all pcs... not just Acer, HP or Asus

  14. KhalidAljabi

    I'm so glad to hear and I would definitely install it once available! Microsoft screwed up its opportunity even on their platforms when it comes to internet browser and now digital assistant.

  15. madthinus

    Yeah, OEM's have so forgiven Microsoft for Surface hardware.

  16. IanYates82

    I wonder if we could have both running at the same time? That'd be neat.


    This may be a useful UWP app (they do say win 10, not win 7 / 8.1). Wonder if it'll run on xbox? Heck, my xbox one installed the vmware horizon virtual desktop client from the store when all I wanted was to put it on my laptop ?


    I could see a cheap little screen, an Intel compute stick and a little usb microphone making a neat device to have in the kitchen for music, videos, Alexa / cortana, etc.


    PCs used to have this kind of utility about them. You could mix and match. The walled gardens put up by the companies has made this harder in recent years, and Android has gone a long way to becoming the new utility device that everyone supports.


    I certainly think Google came of age in consumer's minds, and gave us a rude awakening, when it could refuse to have some of its services supported on various MS platforms / devices and people simply switched to a platform that Google supported since the MS services weren't as good (or completely missing in some cases)

  17. Marius Muntean

    :)))) Goodbye Cortana. Another FCKUP by Microsoon

  18. Daishi

    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 and Xboxs 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, only for it to have sunk without a trace. Now it's too late.


    Sometimes I find myself wondering if Microsoft are actively sabotaging their consumer presence so they can justify abandoning it all together.

  19. Tony Barrett

    I guess I'm not the only one who can see this killing Cortana stone dead then.

  20. JimP

    Cool. Is it a Windows Store app? When will it be released?

    • JimP

      In reply to JimP:


      According to Egadget, it will be released in the spring:


      <quote>

      Amazon will release a special Alexa app in the spring, and laptop builders are tapping Intel's Smart Sound tech to make sure that the app can pick up your voice when you're not right next to your PC.

      </quote>


      www.engadget.com/2018/01/08/amazon-alexa-windows-10-pcs/

  21. Dan1986ist

    Cortana is the search in Windows 10 even if people don't use the AI part. So, realistically what are the odds of Cortana actually getting dropped? Just wondering.

  22. glenn8878

    I’m sure Alexa will play your music library (and Prime) unlike Cortana.


    Amazon needs to sell a compatible microphone, which are not standard with Windows PCs.

  23. mortarm

    Could Cortana become the next Windows Phone?

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