Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and HP have all announced that would bring Amazon Alexa to some of their PCs this year, but Amazon is now looking to grow its Alexa for PC ecosystem with the help of three original design manufacturer (ODM) partners. Indeed, the company announced yesterday that Wistron, Compal and Quanta have created four pre-built PCs with Alexa built-in that PC makers will be able to use as reference designs (via VentureBeat)
“These Windows 10 PCs have been designed from the ground up to support Alexa, bringing Amazon’s voice service to customers in new ways,” said Jon Kirk, Director, Alexa Voice Service at Amazon. The four different models all come with Intel processors, drivers, wake word engine, and microphone arrays built for a far-field Alexa experience. You can learn more about the specs below:
- Wistron’s All-in-One PC is a sleek desktop computer optimized for voice that features a 27” UHD display, an FHD webcam with IR sensor, four MEMs microphones, and two stereo speakers.
- Compal’s convertible notebook features a 15.6” FHD display with touch, 13 hours of battery life, fingerprint security, IR camera, productivity quick-turn knob, and stylus. Built for gaming, multimedia, and Alexa, it has four digital microphones and two 2W speakers integrated.
- Quanta’s convertible notebook features a 14” FHD display, 18 hours of battery life, and fingerprint reader – making it suitable for the road-warrior. It has four digital microphones and two 2W speakers for interaction with Alexa.
- Wistron’s convertible notebook is designed for the smart office, featuring a 15.6” FHD display with touch, an HD webcam, and eight hours of battery life. Optimal voice interaction with Alexa is enabled by four MEMs microphones and two stereo speakers.
"We believe voice is the next major disruption in the PC category, which is an important part of our “Alexa Everywhere” vision," the company explained. By integrating Cortana to Windows 10 back in 2015, Microsoft was the first company to integrate a digital assistant to a desktop OS (Apple did it a year later with Siri on macOS), to disappointing results so far. Indeed, the Redmond giant revealed last week that Cortana only had 150 million users across 13 markets, with a pretty flat growth (up 2 million users from October).
Windows 10 and Cortana didn't really drive impact PC sales over the past three years, but it will be interesting to see if the growing Alexa for PC ecosystem can shake things up. Adding Alexa to new PCs may not be enough to drive sales in the near future, but we hope it will push Microsoft to improve Cortana on Windows 10 PCs.