Trade Resources Industry Views Is Microsoft Working on a Cortana Speaker to Rival The Echo?

Is Microsoft Working on a Cortana Speaker to Rival The Echo?

In December we learned Microsoft was planning to bring its Cortana digital assistant to smart speakers, with the first device revealed to be a speaker from third-party firm Harman Kardon.

The speaker is set to debut this year, but it seems Microsoft could very well be working on its own Cortana-powered speaker to rival the likes of the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Windows Central has uncovered a new Cortana speaker setup feature in Windows which essentially looks to be a wizard to help users set up their Cortana-powered device.

As the site states, the feature appears to be linked to a separate, unavailable app and includes a "buy" button that takes users directly to Microsoft's home page.

And while the whole thing could simply be a setup guide for third-party devices that feature Cortana, it could be that Microsoft is planning its own Cortana speaker.

The company is rumoured to be gearing up for a hardware event soon, so if that does go ahead, we could possibly see some Cortana-related products unveiled.

Amazon's smart speaker: the Echo

For now, we suspect this wizard has been designed to help users link third-party Cortana-enabled devices, such as the upcoming Harman Kardon speaker, with Windows.

But there's no denying the "set up your Cortana speaker" language sounds an awful lot like there could be an official Microsoft-made Cortana speaker arriving in the near future.

We know the company has plans to integrate Cortana into other smart home devices, and is preparing to fully unveil its Home Hub project later this year.

That project will see Cortana used to control various smart home products and represents a push from Microsoft to branch out from the PC market.

This week, Cortana was in the news after she was discovered as a guide to setting up the new Creators Update for Windows – again pointing towards Microsoft's ambitions to bring its digital assistant to the forefront.

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