In Windows 10, some people use Cortana, while others either go to great lengths to replace it or simply hide it. In Chrome OS, some people may not even know that Google Now is available, while others swear by it. On Linux, a number of open-source virtual assistants exist, all with varying capabilities and userbases. On Apple's MacOS, users will soon be able to get familiar with Siri as if they were holding an iPhone. A prominent name in automation and AI assistant technology is missing here, and that name is Alexa. According to recent reports, however, a version of Amazon's in-house assistant that brings the Amazon Echo to life may soon be available on PC.
Reports are surfacing that Lenovo and Amazon are in the earliest of early talks about possibly getting Alexa bundled into future Lenovo PCs. The information comes from a Lenovo executive close to the matter, who would not give any additional details or personal commentary on the issue. Amazon has thus far maintained radio silence. They did, however launch a web-based demo version of Alexa back in May that might have been the precursor to such a move, both in proving that Alexa can be ported around to different platforms, and giving PC users access to it. The PC demo, meant as an advertisement for the Echo smart speaker, managed to give users a basic feel for the capabilities of the platform and what the user experience is like.
While the talks with Lenovo may not pan out or could lead to a deal with Lenovo alone to feature a specially optimized version of Alexa on their devices, the fact still remains that this would entail an x86 version of Alexa is in either planning or development in some capacity. This would fit quite well with CEO Jeff Bezos' long-running plan to not only position Alexa as the most capable virtual AI assistant out there, but to eclipse the competition by making it available to all users. A Windows version could easily be ported to Linux, along with Intel-based Chromebooks. The base version present in the Echo, meanwhile, could be ported to all smartphones fairly easily. Amazon Alexa seems to be readying itself for a leap into the spotlight, and a deal with Lenovo, the world's largest PC manufacturer, would be the perfect jumpstart.