Acer will be first to bring Amazon Alexa to Windows PCs on May 23
Move over Cortana, here comes Amazon Alexa ... kind of.
With the rise of virtual assistants and the friendly-rivalry between Microsoft and Amazon, it's Acer that will bring Alexa to its growing line of Windows 10 PCs first.
Today, Acer is announcing that Alexa is rolling out to numerous new Windows 10 PCs, including its popular Switch, Swift, and Aspire lines, which were recently updated and refreshed earlier this year. From the related press release:
In addition, Amazon Alexa is expected to come to the Acer Nitro 5 Spin convertible gaming notebook line next month and "Aspire all-in-one PCs, as they are rolled out to Acer's retail partners over the next few weeks," Acer said.
Not much is known about just how well Alexa will integrate with Windows 10 PCs. Amazon's Alexa is arguably more popular and widely used than Microsoft's Cortana, but when it comes to features Acer seems to boast familiar features. You can "check the weather, make an entry on their calendar, create lists, answer questions, or play their favorite music, podcasts or audiobooks," the company said. "Acer customers can ask Alexa to manage smart home devices including lighting, thermostats and home appliances, all with their voice."
It's not known why Amazon just doesn't release Alexa in the Microsoft Store instead of having "exclusive" PC partners, but it seems like a way for PC companies to generate hype around what is arguably a flat market.
Sometime this year, Microsoft and Amazon are letting their respective A.I. assistants "talk" to each other making independent apps somewhat redundant.
At least for those steeped in Amazon's ecosystem with the thousands of Alexa "skills" already available, today's announcement is good news.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.