Amazon is making a major play for Windows PCs

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
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Drew Angerer / Getty Images

  • Several PC manufacturers have announced new computers coming this year that will support Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, hands-free.
  • Some of these new PCs will come with special hardware that will make Alexa respond to commands more quickly and hear you better over loud music.
  • This move is emblematic of Amazon’s goal to put Alexa everywhere, in every device.

Amazon is putting its Alexa assistant into everything these days.

The Seattle-based company started with TV-streaming boxes and standalone Echo speakers. Now, Alexa is getting into more gadgets and computers – even those made by companies not named Amazon.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, several Windows PC manufacturers announced new computers coming this year that will support Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, hands-free, just like how you’d interact with an Amazon Echo.

Last year, Amazon struck a deal with Microsoft that would let Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant “talk to each other” on Windows 10 PCs, but an Amazon representative said these new Alexa integrations were unrelated.

HP announced its spaceship-like Pavilion Wave PC would support Alexa, while Acer said the voice assistant would launch on “select Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks, as well as Aspire all-in-one PCs starting from Q1 2018.” Asus says some of its Zenbook and Vivobook laptops will also support Alexa.

Some of these new PCs – like those in Acer’s lineup – will come with special hardware that will let Alexa respond to commands more quickly and hear you better over loud music, similar to Amazon’s Echo devices. But they all will use a new Alexa app for Windows 10 that’s expected later this year.

While it’s unclear how many customers will be enticed by these Windows PCs, Amazon should be happy about having HP, Acer, and Asus commit to supporting Alexa. Though Google and Apple are expanding their voice assistants, Amazon has maintained its lead by getting Alexa into as much hardware as possible.

You can now find Alexa on so many devices – even lightbulbs, ovens, and vacuum cleaners – but its heading to Windows 10 PCs is a big deal, considering how many people use and rely on Windows PCs every day. These particular PCs are likely to expose more people to Alexa, which only helps Amazon bring more people into its ecosystem.