Amazon is expanding uses for Alexa, its voice-activated digital assistant, by making it available on Microsoft Windows 10 laptops.
According to news from TechCrunch, Acer’s Spin 3 and Spin 5 line of laptops that come with the Windows 10 operating system have Alexa built in. Additionally, Alexa will be embedded in other PCs being manufactured by Acer, including the Nitro 5 Spin gaming computer, as well as in its all-in-one laptops. Consumers purchase these new models in the coming weeks.
Alexa will also work on several existing computers thanks to an upgrade to the software that comes out later in the week. By embedding Alexa into these laptops, Acer will be competing against Microsoft’s voice-activated assistant Cortana, which is already available on Windows 10. TechCrunch noted that users seem to get the same functionality in Alexa that they do when using Amazon’s Echo devices, such as receiving weather updates, controlling smart home devices and obtaining traffic and news.
Amazon has been integrating Alexa into all sorts of devices as well as enhancing the smart assistant’s capabilities. In late April, the company announced that Alexa is getting a memory, which means she’ll be able to remember information that humans often forget. In a blog post ahead of a keynote talk at the World Wide Web Conference in Lyon, France, Ruhi Sarikaya, director of applied science, Alexa Machine Learning, said that coming soon to the U.S., Amazon will equip the virtual assistant with a new memory feature through which Alexa will be able to remember any information and store it so users can retrieve it later.
“This memory feature is the first of many launches this year that will make Alexa more personalized,” said the Amazon executive in the blog post. “It’s early days, but with this initial release, we will make it easier for customers to save information, as well as provide a natural way to recall that information later.”