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1-min read

Alexa on Windows 10 Will Soon Activate on Lock Screen with Microsoft's 19H2 Update

After enabling handsfree Alexa operations on Windows 10 PCs, the latest move will allow Alexa to respond even when a laptop is locked.

News18.com

Updated:July 16, 2019, 10:31 PM IST
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Alexa on Windows 10 Will Soon Activate on Lock Screen with Microsoft's 19H2 Update
After enabling handsfree Alexa operations on Windows 10 PCs, the latest move will allow Alexa to respond even when a laptop is locked.
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Microsoft's destined path of growth appears to continue with cross-platform services and enterprise segments. In the latest move, Microsoft just allowed third party digital voice assistants such as Alexa to activate on the lock screen itself of Windows 10 PCs. The update has now been introduced to a select sub-set of users in the so-called Slow Ring of the Windows 10 Insider Programme, and is expected to roll out to all users when Microsoft's Windows 10 update 19H2 (codename) releases for everyone this September.

What this essentially means is that Microsoft is no longer reserving the integrated digital voice assistant space for its somewhat unsuccessful digital assistant, Cortana. Instead, it is opening up the possibility for third parties such as Amazon to integrate their voice assistants to Windows 10, so that they work as a native service. In essence, for anyone using the integrated Alexa service in future, any Windows 10 laptop or desktop that has the feature enabled will be able to access its services right from the lock screen, without any need to launch it separately like a third party app that enables post-startup.

This is a clever move by Microsoft -- Cortana was never the success that they hoped it would be. Hence, they are now moving Cortana towards the enterprise half, where it would come integrated with software and services offered by them to business users, in order to assist enterprise tasks and conversations. For general consumers, seeing that Cortana might never really work out the way it was intended to, opening up the ecosystem for third party services gives Microsoft not only good rep, but also more features in its OS that it hopes would keep drawing more users on to its platform.

Two months ago, Amazon had also enabled more skills integration as well as handsfree Alexa operations on Windows 10. The new update, which should be available to everyone as the 19H2 Windows 10 update rolls out, adds to the enhanced Alexa features, and potentially, allow Amazon to turn all Windows 10 PCs into Alexa devices.

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