Amazon Alexa may soon make its way to PC
Move over Cortana – Amazon Alexa smart voice assistant might be on its way to Windows PCs. According to a new report from CNET, which cites confirmation of talks between Amazon and Lenovo by an unnamed Lenovo executive as the source of the info. There’s no further detail on how far the talks progressed, but a PC-based presence for Alexa could have big benefits for both Amazon and computer OEMs.
Amazon seems to favor casting a wide net with its Alexa approach, and offers third-party access for both Alexa Skills, which allow other companies to integrate their services into the voice assistant; and for its Alexa Voice Service API, which lets other hardware makers put Alexa into their own device. As for Lenovo, it and other PC OEMs are always looking for differentiating factors that can help their hardware stand out from the rest of the Windows crowd.
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 thatbakes 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.
It sounds from CNET’s report like it’s very, very early days in terms of any discussion between Lenovo and Amazon, but the possibility of such an arrangement is still intriguing. Personally, I can’t wait to ask Alexa to update my Windows Defender virus definitions.