The official Alexa app for Windows 10 is now available for download from the Microsoft Store, with Amazon announcing several major updates coming in 2019.
Using Alexa hands-free is only possible if you own what Amazon calls an Alexa built-in PC. Otherwise, you need to launch the assistant manually and send input via the PC’s microphone.
Amazon’s assistant is currently available for Windows 10 PCs in the United States, UK, and Germany, but the company says that next year, more locations would be added.
While you can interact with Alexa and ask for information stored in your calendar or to have it provide the weather forecast, PC-specific capabilities aren’t yet available. This means Alexa won’t be able to shut down your computer, send an email, or anything like that, though Amazon says that it’s working on such functionality already and more news in this regard would be shared next year.
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update required
Right now, it certainly looks like Amazon rushed to make Alexa available on Windows 10 PCs without finalizing the product, but you can still control your smart home as long as the connected devices are compatible with the assistant.
“Alexa on Windows 10 PCs allows you to do many of the same things you love with Alexa, but does not enable PC-specific controls. Alexa is always getting smarter, and PC-specific capabilities will be added in early 2019 in addition to ongoing feature updates,” Amazon says.
Alexa on Windows 10 is obviously available free of charge and it requires at least Windows 10 Fall Creators Update to be installed.
Further updates are expected to bring additional functionality to the app, such as video, communications, Spotify, and Pandora support. No ETA has been provided just yet, though 2019 seems to be the year when Amazon will actually make its digital assistant worth a chance on Windows 10 devices.