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Mar 21, 2017 12:47 PM EDT

Latest Amazon Alexa Program To One-Up Google In The Fierce Competition For Developer Mindshare

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Internet and cloud computing giant Amazon this week announced a new program that will allow third-party developers to integrate Alexa AI technology into applications and host Alexa skills on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Amazon Alexa is the artificial intelligence-powered digital assistant that power the company's Echo speaker and other smart devices. Amazon made the huge announcement this week.

According to Cloud Pro, which got the full details of the Alexa story, the Seattle-based internet giant this week decided to introduce the initiative to lure third-party developers to continue using AWS. The internet giant has come up with a better strategy on how to keep those third-party developers on board. Amazon has decided to use Alexa AI tech, the company's intelligent personal assistant.

The Amazon Alexa program, which has been first announced via a press release, will give developers the chance to apply for a special $100 AWS promotional credit. According to the Amazon's press release, developers can also "receive an additional $100 per month in AWS promotional credits if they incur AWS usage charges for their Alexa skill, thus making it almost free for developers to use the company's cloud computing platform, AWS.

For a quick start, Amazon Alexa is the brain of Amazon's high-tech home speaker device Echo and other digital assistant efforts. The Alexa skills are essentially apps built by third-party developers that allow Alexa-powered devices to deliver additional services and features in the market. Amazon claims more than 10,000 Alexa skills available today in the market.

Amazon currently hosts a significant number of Alexa developers on AWS. These developers rely on AWS for data storage, computing resources, and analytics usage. The company currently offers Amazon Free Tier on AWS, which provides free cloud computing usage to any Alexa developers. However, if the developers exceed the current AWS Free Tier limits, they can hit with a monthly usage charge and this where the new Amazon program comes in.

Amazon's new AWS promotional credits are designed to cover any additional cloud storage and computing costs incurred by third party developers for building Alexa skills that go beyond the limits. It's the company's own way of removing the price barrier and encouraging developers to sign with AWS and build more robust Alexa skills. The Amazon program is also a way for the internet's giant to outmaneuver arch-rivals Google and Microsoft in the competition for developer mindshare and to keep with the growing competition.

For the developers to qualify for a one-time $100 AWS promotional credit, they must have at least one skill live in order to apply for the AWS credit program. The AWS credits will include a one-time $100 AWS credit that's valid for only 12 months, plus an additional $100 recurring credit that's doled out on a monthly basis, the company said in the Amazon Developer website. Developers who want to become part of the Amazon Alexa program, they can apply via the Amazon Alexa developer portal.

In addition, the new AWS program could also help companies that want to make some experiment with Amazon Alexa's technology but doesn't have the necessary knowledge to start with or don't want to make any massive investment at all.

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