Bezos says Amazon will 'double down' on Alexa after blowing past projections

  • "We don't see positive surprises of this magnitude very often," Bezos said.
  • The Alexa Skills store offers more than 30,000 skills and customers can use the technology to control more than 4,000 smart home devices.

    Jeff Bezos is giddy about Alexa.

    "Our 2017 projections for Alexa were very optimistic," the Amazon CEO said in the company's fourth-quarter earnings release on Thursday. "We don't see surprises of this magnitude very often -- expect us to double down."

    After announcing after Christmas that it sold "tens of millions" of voice-powered Alexa devices over the holidays, Amazon provided extensive details about just how widely it's using the technology and mentioned Alexa 19 times in the press release.

    The company said that the Alexa Skills store offers over 30,000 skills, including tools for gamers, and that customers can use Alexa to control more than 4,000 devices. New skills include content like beauty podcasts, game shows, and a quiz from the History Channel.

    Alexa technology is being used in computers from companies including HP and Lenovo, and more tools have been released so third-party developers can add Alexa to their apps. Amazon Web Services also launched Alexa for Business, letting employees link it into their corporate systems for finding an open conference room, making phone calls, or managing to-do lists.

    Currently, on Amazon.com, the five most popular electronic devices are all Amazon products powered by Alexa. They include the Fire TV Stick and three Echo devices.

    Alphabet, which has developed rival technology to Alexa, also released results on Thursday. In its press release, the company didn't mention Google Home or Assistant, the technology that powers it.

    However, in the earnings call with analysts, CEO Sundar Pichai said that Google's voice technology is gaining strong adoption in countries like India and is "actually an important part of the mobile search craze."