Technology 2 min read

Microsoft is Opening its Windows 10 OS Further to Alexa

Microsoft is opening its Windows 10 operating system to third-party voice assistants. The company is set to roll out an update that will turn Windows PCs into Alexa-powered smart speakers.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

If you’ve chosen to enable Amazon’s Alexa on your PC over Cortana, you may be on to something. Microsoft is about to release an update that’ll turn your PC into an Alexa-powered smart speaker.

According to recent reports, Microsoft intends to open its operating system further to third-party digital assistants.

The company has just announced a new feature in the upcoming Windows 10 update that’s due this September. It involves users activating Amazon’s voice assistant on Windows 10 lock screen using wake words. That means you can shout “Alexa” from across the room when your PC is locked, and it’ll respond.

With Alexa listening even when your PC is in sleep mode, you would essentially have an Alexa Smart Speaker integrated into your computer.

The options will be off by default, and Microsoft is not expected to roll out the update until September. With that said, not all PC users will get it right away.

While this is a relatively minor update, there’s a bigger picture. It shows how committed Microsoft is to sharing its Windows 10 with other voice digital assistants. Earlier in the year, Amazon also enabled its Alexa wake word on the current Microsoft’s operating systems app.

Windows 10’s current dalliance with Alexa raises an essential question – what’ll happen to Cortana?

The Growing Distance Between Cortana and Windows 10

The relationship between Windows 10 and Alexa began last year when Microsoft entered a partnership with Amazon. This led to the integration of Alexa and Cortana,

A couple of months in, Microsoft removed Cortana from the built-in search experience in Windows 10. And, instead, moved it into a separate app in the Microsoft Store.

That means future Windows 10 updates may not include the voice assistant.

According to the reports, Microsoft has a new vision for Cortana. Rather than make it the primary assistant on Windows 10, the voice assistant could soon become an integral part of software and services that the tech giant offers to businesses.

In other words, Cortana is set to play a more prominent role in enterprise software in the future. By then, we all could be using  Alexa-powered PCs.

Read More: Alexa now Gives Better Advice Than Top Consultants

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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