Amazon’s Alexa is live on a Windows 10 laptop for the first time, making its debut on a pair of Acer devices with more on the way.
The announcement follows up on a promise from January to integrate Amazon’s digital assistant into desktop computers and laptops from frequent Microsoft partners Acer, HP, ASUS and Lenovo. Acer says Alexa is now pre-installed on the Spin 3 and 5 lines, which are available at retailers now. Those who already own the laptops can get Alexa through software updates on May 23 for the Spin 3 and May 26 for the 5.
Acer is all-in on Alexa, with plans in the future to roll the digital assistant out across its PC portfolio in the coming months. On Acer, and other windows PCs, Alexa can do things like check the weather, create lists, play music and manage smart home devices.
Alexa is squeezing in on the turf of Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana with this move into Windows 10 PCs. Having the backbone of Windows 10, with nearly 700 million active devices, was a key competitive advantage for Cortana.
Microsoft doesn’t appear too worried about this development, however. Cortana still boasts a deeper integration with these devices, and the company doesn’t see the digital assistant market as a competition that can be won by a single company.
Soon after the announcement of Alexa’s expansion to Windows 10 PCs, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said he welcomes Alexa because “we believe in a world where our own assistant should be available everywhere and so should other assistants be available on our devices.”
Amazon and Microsoft even aligned last year, bringing their respective digital assistants together in a surprise partnership. At the Microsoft Build conference in Seattle last week, the two companies showed off the first integrations between Alexa and Cortana, where Amazon echoed Nadella’s vision of a world where people regularly tap multiple digital assistants to get things done.
“We believe voice will make customers’ lives easier at home, at work and everywhere in between,” Amazon Alexa Senior Vice President Tom Taylor said at Build. “We share a vision that there will be many intelligent agents working together to provide customers with a more helpful experience.”