Asus adds a handful of laptops to the Amazon Alexa ecosystem

  • Asus adds a handful of laptops to the Amazon Alexa ecosystem

Asus adds a handful of laptops to the Amazon Alexa ecosystem

This deal is apparently unrelated to the partnership Amazon struck with Microsoft a year ago, which would let Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant "talk to each other" on Windows 10 PCs. Amazon has partnered with a bunch of major desktop makers including HP, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer, all of which plan to integrate Alexa into their next range of Windows 10 computers this year.

The three personal computer giants debuted personal computers on Monday that are created to work with Alexa, part of a push by Amazon to spread its voice assistant to more third-party devices.

Since the PC runs on Windows 10, the Pavilion Wave will be able to speak with Microsoft's AI assistant Cortana. There is Intel Smart Sound Technology, which is an integrated audio DSP (Digital Signal Processor) to handle audio, voice, and speech interactions. The manufacturer's announcement was light on details, but we suspect future Alexa models will sport the multi-microphone arrays that have become common on high-end laptops over the last few months.

While it's unclear how many customers will be enticed by these specific Windows PCs, Amazon should be very happy about having HP, Acer and Asus commit to supporting Alexa. The new app will allow users to ask Alexa questions just like they would with an Echo device. With Alexa soon to be available on the same system, it could also spell doom for Microsoft's digital assistant.

"This is a big step toward making Alexa available wherever customers might need her", said Steve Rabuchin, Amazon Alexa vice president, in a news release announcing Acer's integration of Alexa into its Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks, and Aspire all-in-one PCs. However, it means more competition for contenders Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana, the latter of which could be facing an early grave. The company also unveiled the Acer V6820M/i 4K UHD projector, which also supports Amazon Alexa.

The news has come as something of a curveball given that the strategy previously announced had been around integrating Alexa into Cortana and vice versa.