Report: Amazon in early talks to bring Alexa digital assistant to PCs

Could Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana soon get some competition on Windows 10 PCs? According to a report from CNET, Amazon is currently in talks with the world’s biggest PC manufacturer Lenovo to include its Alexa digital assistant in its computers and other devices, which would be the first time that Alexa is directly integrated in non-Amazon devices such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Tap.

The Alexa-powered Amazon Echo & Echo Dot.

The Alexa-powered Amazon Echo & Echo Dot.

The discussions between the retailer and the Chinese manufacturer are reportedly in their early stages. “”We consider things all the time and we’ve looked at it, but there’s nothing on the roadmap” said a Lenovo executive with knowledge of the talks to CNET while Amazon declined to comment.

While it’s not clear how Lenovo could leverage Alexa on its own devices, digital assistants are clearly on the rise as Microsoft’s Cortana is now deeply integrated in Windows 10 PCs, phones and the Xbox One and Apple’s upcoming macOS Sierra operating system will also bring the company’s digital assistant Siri to Mac computers. Even Google is also expected to release a Google Home smart speaker later this year.

Amazon’s Alexa launched on the company’s first Echo product back in 2014, a voice-controlled device which is always on and can provide consumers information, music, news, and weather from across the room. Just like Cortana, Alexa also integrates with third-party services, to order a pizza from Domino’s or request an Uber ride.

While the retailer doesn’t disclose how many Echos it has already shipped to consumers since 2014, bringing Alexa to Lenovo’s PCs and other devices could benefit Amazon in many ways: with more consumers using Alexa, Amazon could improve its always-learning assistant and its speech-recognition algorithms, attract more developers to integrate their services with Alexa and eventually boost sales of Amazon’s Alexa-powered products.

As both Cortana and Google Now are already ubiquitous on mobile devices, do you think it makes sense for Amazon to push Alexa to other platforms as well? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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