Amazon’s Voice Assistant Alexa Could Be Coming to PCs

Day Two Of Mobile World Congress 2015
Employees stand beside a display of Lenovo mobile devices in the Lenovo Group Ltd. pavilion at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. The event, which generates several hundred million euros in revenue for the city of Barcelona each year, also means the world for a week turns its attention back to Europe for the latest in technology, despite a lagging ecosystem. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Simon Dawson — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon’s intelligent voice assistant, Alexa, could be making a future appearance in a surprising new place: PCs.

According to a report from CNET this week, the tech giant is in talks with one of the largest PC manufacturers, Lenovo, to integrate Alexa into its computers.

If a deal is reached, it would be a huge distribution deal for Amazon (AMZN) and the Alexa platform. It would also mark one of the first times that Amazon would have licensed its won proprietary software to a hardware manufacturer, potentially following in the footsteps of Google (GOOGL) with its own Android mobile operating system.

For background, Alexa can answer questions, turn on lights, order items like diapers, and even call an Uber directly through Amazon’s voice-controlled home devices Echo and Echo Dot as well as its streaming device, Fire TV. Users simply have to utter a command like, “Alexa, order an Uber to home.”

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Alexa is already an open platform upon which developers and companies can build “skills,” or use cases on top of Alexa to integrate their own services into the voice assistant and into Echo. Some of the most popular skills include Pandora (P) and Spotify, as well some of the home automation skills, which allow people to turn off their lights and adjust their thermostats.

At Fortune‘s Brainstorm Conference in July, Amazon’s senior vice president of devices Dave Limp said that ensuring Alexa is an open platform upon which other companies can build services is critical for the future of the voice assistant.

“The most important thing we have to do is creating self service APIs that allow people to enable any device or app with Alexa’s capabilities,” he said. “We want to create an open and neutral ecosystem for Alexa.”

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The question is whether that includes hardware manufacturers that want to integrate a voice assistant into their own devices.

Bringing a voice assistant to PCs wouldn’t be unique to Alexa or Lenovo.

Apple’s voice assistant Siri (AAPL), which is already integrated into mobile devices, is expected to make an appearance soon in Apple laptops and desktop devices. Microsoft’s voice assistant Cortana (MSFT) is already in a number of PCs. Google’s Alexa rival, Assistant, is likely to also make an appearance in many devices, including Google’s yet to be released home automation device, Google Home.

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