Microsoft has shifted its strategy away from forcing its operating systems on users, including mobile, to a more “services-oriented” tactic that offers apps and platforms for others to build on or use on its competitors’ platforms. That seems to be the case even when it has competing products like smart assistants. In fact, in the next Windows 10 update later this year, it will be giving those assistants more control even when the PC is still on its lock screen.
Microsoft has been dancing around with supporting some AI assistants on the same level as its own Cortana. At the moment, those “some AI assistants” is pretty much equates to Amazon Alexa only for now. Unsurprising considering the two aren’t in direct competition with each other anyway.
A new preview build for Windows Insiders rolled out with a very short list of changes. At the end and almost like an afterthought, it says that Build 18362.10005 will allow third-party digital assistants to voice activate above the lock screen. In theory, this would allow the likes of Alexa an almost seamless functionality across the entire Windows 10 desktop.
That could, of course, also open a security can of worms. That same Cortana ability to activate on top of lock screens has been reported to give some hackers access to users’ otherwise locked computers. The risk with third-party assistants may be even bigger considering Microsoft may have little control over them.
This ability, however, could encourage those third-parties to develop Windows 10 apps for their smart assistants. At the moment, Amazon Alexa is the prime example and Google Assistant remains unavailable.