Watch out Windows 10 users, Microsoft is set to integrate a HomeHub feature into its operating system. The tech giant is reported to be building the HomeHub as a competition to Amazon Echo and Google Home. The new feature is set to be released along with Windows 10 updates in 2017 and 2018.
According to The Verge, sources familiar with the matter revealed that HomeHub is already in the planning stages. The recent report refutes Windows Central claim that the HomeHub will be a voice-activated speaker and it would be launched at the Microsoft Surface event back in October. Instead, it will be both a service and feature that runs on Windows 10. The HomeHub is a part of Microsoft's goal of creating a family environment on a PC. Apparently, the company has set up a new Family team in the Windows group that includes the HomeHub, as reported by ZDNet.
Though there have been not many details about this upcoming feature, Windows Central has gotten hold of some concept plans. It may not be a smart home device like with Amazon and Google but it is designed to offer the same services. The fact that Cortana is also being used in this feature means that Microsoft's own digital assistant will be taking on Alexa and Google Assistant.
Users will be able to share appointments, apps and other data on a PC without logging into his/her own account. In addition, while Amazon Echo lets you control the device through Alexa, you will also be able to use HomeHub for queries via Cortana. For instance, the digital assistant can be summoned to provide information that you want to know.
Microsoft's plan goes beyond the Windows 10 PC itself. Through Cortana, the HomeHub feature will allow users to control and manage their smart devices that include iOS and Android. The Verge noted that since HomeHub is currently in its planning phase, the tech giant might change some of its functions. It will be fitting that Microsoft would introduce innovative features in HomeHub that are yet to be found on other smart home devices.
It can also be the company's ticket to expand its market even though it has to compete against the already established Amazon Echo and recently released Google Home. It was previously reported that Amazon may be working on a new Echo speaker with 7-inch touch screen display. Apple is also said to be developing an "Echo-esque smart home device", according to Bloomberg.