Microsoft celebrated Amazon Prime Day by announcing its Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18362.10005, a small build in the 19H2 or “Slow” ring. Those updates are part of what you might call the “patch” feature update that’s due this fall, rather than the “new feature” release, or 20H1, due sometime in the spring of next year. Microsoft is planning to open up Windows 10 to third-party digital assistants even more with the release of its next major update. Microsoft revealed a change that will allow third-party assistants like Alexa to activate with their wake word from the lock screen. This was previously a function only available to Cortana.
It will take some time before this feature achieves completed Windows 10 updates, and potentially some time after that before Amazon and others bounce on board. Microsoft additionally cautions that it’s leaving highlights off of course in this construct and will turn them on for certain individuals dependent on “feedback and quality.” If you can wait, however, there’s a decent possibility you’ll have more noteworthy command over your smart home from your PC, regardless of whether you haven’t signed into the system yet.
It’s just a minor change, but it does show Microsoft is quite interested to open up how it will be handling voice digital assistants on Windows 10. Amazon also enabled its Alexa wake word on its Windows 10 app earlier this year. Microsoft’s new changes follow changes to Cortana in Windows 10, as it moves to a separate app in the Microsoft Store and away from the built-in search experience in the operating system. Microsoft and Amazon have also previously partnered up to integrate Cortana and Alexa.