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:
Acer today announced that several of its popular Windows 10 notebook lines are the industry's first to offer Alexa pre-installed, including the Acer Spin 3 and Acer Spin 5 lines, which are available at retailers now. The news today is the first step in Acer's plans to roll out Alexa across its PC portfolio.
The first Acer notebook lines to receive the update will be the Acer Spin 5 and Spin 3 convertible families on May 23 and May 26, respectively.
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.