Acer to Bring Amazon Alexa to PCs in 2018

Amazon Alexa is coming to Windows 10 PCs

Amazon Alexa is coming to Windows 10 PCs

Last year, the two companies announced plans to allow their virtual assistants, Alexa and Cortana, to "talk" to each other on Windows 10 PCs.

After a planned Amazon - Microsoft initiative to integrate their respective Alexa and Cortana digital assistants put Alexa onto PCs by the end of 2017 failed to happen, Amazon is going ahead down an alternative route to make Alexa available on PCs by partnering with manufacturers including Acer, Asus, Lenovo and HP.

The manufacturer says that Alexa support is enabled by Intel's Smart Sound Technology, which is an integrated audio digital signal processor (DSP) that is designed with this kind of usage scenario in mind. With the new integration by PC makers, Amazon could be in a position to leverage Alexa's high profile in the home to overshadow Cortana on Windows PCs.

The HP Pavilion Wave will be the first PC to ship with Alexa on board.

The Seattle-based company started with TV streaming boxes and standalone Echo speakers - but now, Alexa is getting into more gadgets, computers, and devices, even those made by companies not named Amazon. The compatible 2-in-1 Acer notebooks provide far-field voice recognition with their front-facing speakers and redefine audio experience for the user. After enabling the Acer Projector Smart Home skill on either an Echo device or a compatible PC Alexa will respond to commands such as: "Alexa, turn on the projector", "Alexa, select HDMI as the projector source", or "Alexa, change projector display mode to bright". Amazon's digital assistant was already available for everyone as a web app, but it's not clear yet if this new desktop app will be restricted to select PCs with special mics.

This could be a huge win for Amazon, which is now trying to stay ahead of Google with regard to in-home digital assistants.

It's an interesting move for Microsoft, given that the company already offers its own voice-controlled assistant, Cortana.

"Hands-free access to Alexa on PCs can be helpful to customers in many ways, like making it simple to interact with your smart home, get news or weather, set timers, and more". "This is a big step toward making Alexa available wherever customers might need her".

As of mid-December, Amazon was said to have a roster of an estimated 25,000 Alexa skills, while Cortana was said to be on 230.

"Acer is excited to be among the first brands to bring Alexa to PCs", said Jerry Kao, President of IT Products Business of Acer Inc.

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