Amazon is making progress in getting PC makers to include its Alexa digital assistant in new machines, striking agreements with three Taiwanese companies that design PCs sold by smaller manufacturers, according to this report. It’s part of Amazon’s ongoing efforts to extend Alexa beyond its own hardware, and builds on Amazon’s existing agreements with Lenovo, Acer, ASUS, and HP.
Getting Alexa onto more PCs could help Amazon attract more third-party developers that want a broad platform for distributing their voice apps. One question is how this will affect Microsoft’s similar strategy for its Cortana digital assistant, which runs on hundreds of millions of Windows 10 devices.
Since Microsoft and Amazon are working to let Alexa and Cortana work together to respond to different kinds of voice queries, one possible explanation is that the companies are coordinating efforts to make digital assistants as useful as possible for PC users. Another explanation: Amazon is seeking to capitalize on the popularity of Alexa, and Microsoft’s bizarre lack of urgency in promoting Cortana, to establish Alexa as the go-to digital assistant for PC users.