Amazon’s dropping support for their Alexa, but I still love my mine
If you don't follow tech news very closely you may have missed the news from Business Insider that Amazon is probably going to be cutting the division responsible for the Alexa.
That's not too surprising when they say they could lose up to $10 billion this year on their Alexa's.
The reasons for the huge loss are varied, but the biggest reason, there isn't a way to monetize it. Amazon sold their Echo's for what it cost to make them, thinking people would make up the loss in revenue through subscriptions or by ordering off the device.
Why did they think we would want to order using our Alexa's? That would be due to the success of their “buy now” button. You find the product you are looking for and instead of adding to cart, you click the buy now button and you are done.
Well, they thought "if people like only clicking one button, they'll love not clicking a button at all". Humans, however, are funny. We like to see the product we are buying, read some reviews, or even see the cost of the product. So, the shopping experience Amazon envisioned where you just told the Alexa to order you something never materialized.
I love my Alexa, in fact I have three of them. Amazon, however, I am sure hates how I use them. The one in the bedroom is just an alarm clock. The one in the living room is a music player. The one in the kitchen is used as a timer or asking it things like "how many cups in a pint". Those do not make Amazon money and they will not drive innovation to improve either.
I wish they would have leaned in more to the Smart Home side of things. It is handy to be able to turn on the lights when I have a handful of groceries. Being able to control aspects of your home with voice can be a neat experience, but again Amazon can't profit from me doing that once I've ordered all the outlets or light bulbs I need to make that happen.
Who knows what the future holds for the Amazon Echo and Alexa division going forward, but I know I will still be playing animal guessing games on it with my kids and streaming my favorite radios stations until they finally pull an Old Yeller on it.