Cortana takes the fight to Alexa with the Microsoft Home Hub

Until now, Microsoft has been relegated to bit player status in the emerging digital home assistant sector, with the lion's share of attention going to Amazon's Alexa software running on the Echo family of devices. Windows Central reports that Redmond is gearing up for a massive assault on the smart home market with a software feature called Home Hub that will be baked into future Windows 10 updates.

Windows Central says that Microsoft plans for Home Hub to have the same sort of voice command interface as Amazon's Echo, but will differentiate itself from Amazon and Google's offerings with the option to control functions using a device's screen. Unlike the Echo, Home Hub will run on existing hardware—namely, Windows 10 PCs. The operating system's Anniversary Update brought the ability to access Cortana directly from the device's lock screen. The Home Hub will leverage this ability, and Windows Central says additional features will be included in the Creators Update and the next two major updates thereafter.

Windows Central is emphatic that Home Hub is a set of software features, but goes on to theorize about devices from third-party vendors that would function like smaller home versions of Microsoft's Surface Hub. We can't help but think that integration with Xbox One integration will likely be a high priority for the company, given that console's presence in so many entertainment centers.

Comments closed
    • themobileupdates
    • 3 years ago

    How to Use [url=http://www.themobileupdates.com/how-to/how-to-use-cortana-for-android-phone/<]Cortana for Android[/url<] Phone...full guide

    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    Excellent! Yet another market for Microsoft to enter when they’re already way behind (YAMFMTEWTAWB for short).

    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    I HATE the “Ok Google” activation. I much prefer “Alexa..”, “Siri..”, “Cortana..”

      • grazapin
      • 3 years ago

      You can say “Hey Google” also, but point taken.

      • stdRaichu
      • 3 years ago

      I’ve set my activation phrase to “You got a dead cat in there or what?”

    • End User
    • 3 years ago

    This really drives home how far Microsoft has fallen behind. Both a search engine provider and a online shopping site have a more dominant position in the marketplace.

      • willmore
      • 3 years ago

      Well, the value of such a device is not in how it goes about performing the task (the voice recognition, the AI, etc.) but in the services which it can provide. That’s why the vasly more valuable Amazon and Google services drove those companies efforts.

      What’s a Contana box going to be useful for? On a PC or a phone, it can at least control or access infromation on that device, but a lone box in your home? Microsoft simply doesn’t have anything to offer.

      • ebomb808
      • 3 years ago

      The Xbox One did all these things before Google and Amazon did. It was just too expensive to market as a standalone device that is just a voice assistant. They need to add support to Xbox to just add a microphone that isn’t a voice chat headset or an overpriced webcam (kinect) to the Xbox and offer the same functionality.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        About the only thing the Xbox did reliably with voice commands at launch is turn itself on when a [url=http://www.ibtimes.com/aaron-paul-xbox-one-commercial-accidentally-turns-user-consoles-1600544<]voice in a commercial[/url<] told it to do so.

        • David
        • 3 years ago

        The only reason my Kinect is plugged in is because of how accurate and useful the voice commands are. Plus I like that it’ll log me in while I’m getting situated.

    • tsk
    • 3 years ago

    No Microsoft.

      • tay
      • 3 years ago

      Another Me Too product. Redmond, start your copiers still rings true.

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