Microsoft is opening up Windows 10 even further to third-party digital assistants. In the next update to Windows 10, due in September, Microsoft will allow voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa to activate on the lock screen. This change will allow third-party assistants to activate from wake words when a PC is locked and someone is shouting “Alexa” from across the room.
It’s a relatively minor change, but it does show Microsoft is willing to open up how it handles 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.
Microsoft has a new vision for Cortana, and it involves conversations and interactions that are part of the software and services the company offers to businesses. This means Cortana will now serve a bigger role for enterprise software, but it will be just one of many digital assistants available on Windows 10 in the future.
Microsoft is planning to make some of these digital assistant changes in the codename 19H2 update, which is expected to arrive in September. Unlike previous fall updates, this one will be a lot smaller in size with fewer new features and changes. Microsoft is starting to test some of these digital assistant changes in a new Windows 10 build (18362.10005) released to Windows Insider testers today.