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Microsoft Home Hub to take on Amazon Echo and Google Home

A worthy rival at last

By Chethan Rao | Dec 6, 2016, 03.33 PM IST
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Microsoft is currently a pretty big name in the enterprise segment with a myriad of software and services available at its disposal. But the company is somewhat falling behind in terms of Windows 10. A new report talks about the company’s intentions to release something known as Home Hub for Windows 10 desktops and devices. This will connect multiple Windows 10 powered devices, although it seems ideal for larger devices like touchscreen based two-in-ones.

Home Hub will also come with always-on Cortana to receive your voice commands at any given time. This is a much desired feature among modern day devices, and is found on home assistant devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Home Hub will also be capable of working as a productivity tool to keep the entire family updated on changes made by one member. For example, if there is a multi-user desktop at home and one user sets a reminder for a family outing, the entire family will see the reminder. This is not exactly rocket science, but something that will keep families in the loop about their day to day activities.

Another aspect of Home Hub will be its compatibility with smart home products like lights and other appliances. It is said that as soon as your smart devices are connected to the same home network, Home Hub will automatically recognize them, thus allowing you to control their functioning right from the Windows 10 machine.

While Microsoft claims that Home Hub will be compatible with existing Windows 10 computers, there is increased emphasis on manufacturers creating dedicated hardware for Home Hub. This is because large touchscreen based Windows 10 machines will be ideally suited for Home Hub given its family appeal. Some parts of Home Hub are expected to be sent out next year in the form of the Windows 10 Creators Update. However, the majority of its features will only be sent out by 2018 with the Redstone 3 and Redstone 4 updates.

So there’s still some time left for Microsoft to send out Home Hub to its users, and waiting another year and a half is certainly not going to be easy. Given the kind of advancements that Amazon has made with Echo and Alexa, Microsoft will have to seriously up its game to remain competitive in the industry.

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