The Amazon Alexa app is now available on Windows 10 PCs through the official Microsoft Store. While all Windows 10 PC users in US, UK, and Germany can install the app on their devices, only compatible PCs can use the hands-free features of Alexa. Using the hands-free feature, as on mobile and smart speakers, users can activate tens of thousands of skills by using the Alexa wake word. Other users can also make these skills work by hitting the Alexa button on the app or by using a keyboard shortcut to trigger it.
The Alexa app is now live on Microsoft Store, and works on Windows PCs running Windows 10 version 17134.0 or higher or on Xbox One models. The app on Windows 10 is now available for all users in US, UK, and Germany, with availability set to expand next year, reports Engadget. Expectedly, in India, we were unable to install the app as Microsoft Store shows “Alexa not available” as of press time.
With Alexa on Windows 10, you can do things like check your synced calendar, create lists, play music, answer questions, read the news, control your smart home gadgets, and a lot more. However, the app's actions are limited in the sense that you cannot operate Spotify and Cortana just yet. You can also not stream videos or make calls. Reportedly, however, PC-specific features are expected to arrive early next year.
To recall, Alexa debuted on Windows 10 PCs back in January this year. At the announcement, Acer, HP, Asus, and Lenovo were revealed as partners who will integrate the Alexa voice assistant on to their upcoming notebooks and desktops. Certain laptop models have since been launched this year with digital array microphones to allow for hands-free Alexa access. This announcement also saw the integration of Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana assistants.
Following that, in August this year, Alexa-Cortana integration was made available in public preview allowing access on Windows 10 PCs, followed by Android and iOS in the future. Conversely, users will be able to access Cortana on Alexa-enabled smart speakers in the Echo range. These moves are part of a Amazon-Microsoft partnership announced in August last year that would see both companies' virtual assistants work together.