Amazon Alexa can be helpful on Windows, but you can’t quite treat your PC like a supersized Echo when third-party voice helpers don’t work until you’ve signed in. That might not be a hurdle in the near future. Microsoft has released a Windows 10 preview on the Slow ring that allows the use of third-party assistants “above” the lock screen. The company doesn’t mention Alexa by name, but it’s the only major AI helper on Windows beyond Cortana — Amazon would just have to update its app to enable voice commands in more situations.
There aren’t other major updates, although artists might like lower latency for inking when a stylus or similar device has appropriate hardware support.
It’s going to take a while before this feature reaches finished Windows 10 updates, and possibly a while after that before Amazon and others hop aboard. Microsoft also warns that it’s leaving features off by default in this build and will turn them on for some people based on “feedback and quality.” If you can wait, though, there’s a good chance you’ll have greater control over your smart home from your computer, even if you haven’t signed into the system yet.