Lenovo rumored to be in talks with Amazon to add Alexa digital assistant to its PCs

A new report claims that Lenovo has been speaking with Amazon about possibly adding support for the company's Alexa digital assistant in its PCs and other devices. If true, it could pose a challenge to Microsoft's Cortana assistant that's embedded in Windows 10.

The report comes from CNET, which states:

Lenovo, the world's biggest PC maker, has held talks with Amazon on potentially using Alexa in its computers and other devices, according to a Lenovo executive with knowledge of the talks. The executive declined to provide more details.

The report adds that while there have been talks between Lenovo and Amazon, it's still early and nothing has been set in stone:

It's unclear how Lenovo might use Alexa in its computers, if at all. It's also unclear whether the voice assistant would work with or replace Microsoft's Cortana, which already lives in many PCs. "We consider things all the time and we've looked at it," the Lenovo executive said. "But there's nothing on the roadmap." Amazon declined to comment.

Alexa made its debut when Amazon launched its Echo connected speaker in 2014. Alexa has since expanded to other Amazon hardware devices, and will be added to Sonos speakers in 2017.

Lenovo launched its REACHit search assistant on its Windows PCs a few years ago, and added support for Microsoft's Cortana in 2015. However, recently Lenovo announced that the REACHit app will become unusuable by Sept. 12.

John Callaham
  • Too f***ing funny.... is this the type of OEMs that MSFT needs ??? Use CORTANA and stop adding ****** bloatware to the already pathetic PCs with malware and bad battery life!
  • What can we ask for when microsoft itself developing apps for android and iOS quite passionately.
  • This is hardly bloatware and considering Cortana is unavailable to most of the world yes, OEMs that will add their own digital assistant to their pc's is exactly what Microsoft needs to make Windows 10 attractive to buyers.
  • To be fair, though, Alexa is only available in the US. 
  • I thought anniversary update removed the country limitation (not that I care since my country is supported, just saying....)
  • Furthermore, who would have thought, even five years ago, that *Amazon* would end up becoming one of Microsoft's biggest competitors in many areas of business. Besides AI, there's also AWS vs. OneDrive and Prime vs. Groove. Amazon is likewise doing research into bots and autonomous vehicles, so every company in technology is now competiting with each other ( Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Nvidia--also doing AI and autonomous vehicles, and I'm sure others I've missed).
  • Slight clarification, but AWS is a competitor to Azure, not OneDrive. Prime Cloud is the competitor to OneDrive. 
  • Lol, Cortana on PC is a bloatware by Microsoft for many people and what make you think that no one don't want an another virtual assistant? and it's a good thing that Cortana may have a competition on PC.
    Also business is business Lenovo will do whatever is profitable for him so does Microsoft and Amazon, Stop think that Tech Companies are some kind of religious or familial entities.
  • I'm in favor of competition. Let Alexa compete with Cortana, as long as the user has the option to choose which one they want to use. And on the subject of competition, how about some Prime apps for the Windows store. I'm a paying subscriber and I'd like some modern Amazon apps for my Windows devices.
  • Yes! Where is Prime video etc? What if I want to download shows onto my laptop for a flight?
  • Yes! Where is Prime video etc?
  • Don't blame them. Cortana sucks. Horrible UI (much worse in W10M, and they haven't touched it in over a year...) and just bad at what it's supposed to do.
  • Cortana was amazing in Windows Phone 8. Since I updated to WM10 now she doesn't integrate with Netflix nor Uber nor other bunch of apps. Also, for whatever reason Microsoft seems to have stopped supporting Transit info for Montreal in Windows Maps, so the main reason I used Cortana for (getting around in my city by Public Tramsportation) is over. If they really don't support the Map apps anymore I'll jump ship to either Android or iOS. Cortana feels like a great wasted opportunity, as many of Microsoft's ideas in the last decade.
  • Well, my Cortana talks with Uber.
  • I think MS is just getting started with Cortana...
  • That would be funny...but Alexa understands my non-native English accents far better than Cortana
  • Considering Cortana is unavailable in like 90% of the world...
  • The US is the world, didn't you know?
  • Cortana is available in various countries (sure, not all of them, but still more than just the US), whereas Alexa is only available in the US, so....
  • Microsoft should add a new feature in Cortana called - "Welcome Friend" wherein Cortana will integrate and give access to other digital assistants into Windows 10 and even share her knowledge (APIs) with her/him.
    Digital assistants can learn a lot of things by interacting with one other just like humans.
  • Honestly, Alexa and Cortana can happily live side-by-side and complement each other's shortcomings. I would personally like to have an Alexa app available on my Windows 10 laptop and Windows 10 phone. As for Alexa making her debut when the Echo launched in 2014, that's simply not true. Alexa has been around since the 1990's, having taken many different forms over the years, starting as a simple search engine, a few years later expanding to much-reviled spyware, and now finally having morphed into more of a voice-based assistant, with ridiculously good voice recognition and response times that Siri and Cortana could only dream of at this stage.
  • This is the right way to look at the situation. Alexa is great for shopping, and integrating other services. Cortana is great at managing your life, and the things that matter most. Bringing the two together could seriously be a plus for people. 
  • Battle of the synthetic intelligences. Would make great DLC for Killer Instinct or DoA Volleyball, holographic cage match even. In reality, I can see a use for both. Waiting for the Alexa W10 app...
  • Cortana has been quiet lately. I'd really like to hear about the features they are adding besides sports predictions. Alexa is good and constantly getting better, but the capabilities of the data behind Microsoft or Google are more exciting to me.
  • In the alternate universe I have the luxury to visit, Cortana is integrated with Wolfram so it's actually more than a silly toy, just sayin'
  • Sure, why not! Cortana has become less attractive and functional since 8.1 Imo... Speech recognition is atrocious. I can't even use her to control my lights which should be easy enough to do
  • Wow. I didn't expect this from both ways, Alexa is going to compete with Cortana in its home ground race track while Lenovo fixing the bet.
  • IIRC, isn't Alexa's backend search engine Bing?
  • Siri is, not sure about Alexa though.