Monday, 10 December, 2018

Acer to Bring Amazon Alexa to PCs in 2018

Above HP Pavilion Wave with Alexa for Windows Image Credit HP Above HP Pavilion Wave with Alexa for Windows Image Credit HP
Allan Lindsey | 09 January, 2018, 01:09

Mind you, you won't need custom hardware to run the assistant on your machine, but things like far-field microphones are being included in more and more laptops and desktops that make it handy to talk to AI bots on your computer. As per HP, this PC delivers a powerful computing experience and fantastic audio with the help of Amazon Alexa digital assistant. While Microsoft and Amazon had announced a partnership, nothing came of that in 2017 and this is simply Amazon surging ahead regardless of Microsoft, presumably dragging the chain. The new app will allow users to ask Alexa questions just like they would with an Echo device.

Windows 10 and its 600 million active users have, until now, largely been the domain of Microsoft Cortana, which comes built into the operating system. Now part of the smart home, consumers will be able to control the projector after enabling the Acer Projector Smart Home skill by asking Alexa on a device like the Echo or compatible Acer PC, "Alexa, turn on the projector", "Alexa, select HDMI as the projector source", or "Alexa, change projector display mode to bright".

Jerry Kao, President of IT Products Business of Acer Inc, and Steve Rabuchin, Vice President of Amazon Alexa praised the state-of-the-art audio technology brought in by Alexa to the consumer base of Acer notebooks and PCs.

The exact same features will be available on Windows PCs once the new app goes live, which is great news for PC owners.

"By introducing voice services like Alexa paired with Intel Smart Sound Technology, we anticipate that the PC will serve an even more important role in maximizing your productivity, getting the most from your entertainment, and managing the smart home or office", Anand Srivatsa, general manager of Intel's Desktop, Channel and Systems Group, said in the release.

U.S. also freezes $2b in military assistance to Pakistan
The president points out that the USA has provided more than $33 billion in aid over the past 15 years. But cutting funding to Pakistan will do little to advance US interests in the region, analysts note.

As of mid-December, Amazon was said to have a roster of an estimated 25,000 Alexa skills, while Cortana was said to be on 230.

This move is emblematic of Amazon's goal to put Alexa everywhere, in every device.

As part of the Alexa push, Acer has promised to bring the digital helper to select Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks. The irony is that this Alexa integration in Windows 10 PCs will compete directly with Microsoft's built-in Cortana which is arguably not almost as widespread as Alexa, Siri and even Google Assistant.

The first Alexa Windows 10 PC models are expected before the end of March.

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