Amazon Alexa is coming to Windows 10 PCs this year

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The new Alexa app for Windows 10 is notably separate from the deal Microsoft and Amazon struck previous year that allowed for integration between Alexa and the former's Cortana voice assistant.

Amazon Alexa will roll out on Acer PCs in the United States via an update through Acer Care Center; other regions will get it in mid-2018. "It now will offer a custom LED to indicate Alexa is listening", the company explained in a press release. With the new integration by PC makers, Amazon could be in a position to leverage Alexa's high profile in the home to overshadow Cortana on Windows PCs.

The new Alexa integration shirks the earlier pledge made by Amazon and Microsoft to conflate their two brands, instead an entirely separate app will be made available to selected models, letting users access information in a way not dissimilar to how it's done on an Amazon Echo or other third-party devices.

And now Cortana is now sharing time with Alexa on the PC in a development that can't be good for Microsoft. You can use your Android phone and Google Assistant if you want, but Cortana will be passing data from your phone to your PC, both notifications, images and more so you can be productive. Microsoft could also stand to do more with the Cortana Skills platform, which now sports 250-300 skills, when Alexa has 250, 000 at its disposal.

This could get awkward for Microsoft and Amazon.

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It will have some of the visual display elements from the Echo Show as a taskbar pop up, but it won't be a full service - not at launch at least - one of the big draws - smart home control - will be missing.

"Hands-free access to Alexa on PCs can be helpful to customers in many ways, like making it simple to interact with your smart home, get news or weather, set timers, and more", Amazon Alexa vice president Steve Rabuchin said in a statement.

The Pavilion Wave 600-a010t is meant to appeal to audiophiles, but it also includes some features that could make it useful for video calls and productivity.

As part of the Alexa push, Acer has promised to bring the digital helper to select Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks.

It will work courtesy of an Alexa app designed specifically for Windows computers, available this spring. Some of the new devices will use Intel's Smart Sound Technology, an integrated audio DSP, for improved audio, voice, and speech interactions with Alexa.