Windows 10 HomeHub Leak Exposes Microsoft’s Alternative Amazon Echo Alexa Killer

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Late last year, we began hearing whispers about Microsoft’s HomeHub feature, which is being billed as a direct attack on devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Whereas those aforementioned devices are standalone hardware products, HomeHub is a primarily software solution that leverages that power of the Cortana AI assistant.

Today, we’re learning a bit more about HomeHub thanks to leaks of internal concepts for the interface. At its heart, HomeHub is a shared PC experience that is being designed primarily for family and kitchen PCs. HomeHub consists of an always-on welcome screen that can present the shared family calendar, to-do lists and notes that family members can leave for each other.

All of this functionality will of course be accessible using voice recognition powered by Cortana. According to the leaked information, you’ll be able to shout out commands from across the room, so you won’t be relegated to standing in front of a Windows 10 PC to call up a recipe or do unit conversions when working in the kitchen.

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Perhaps more importantly, HomeHub will take a stab at Alexa’s strengths in controlling smart devices in and around the home. Cortana will mirror Alexa’s capabilities to interface directly with smart hardware, with Microsoft reportedly lining up support from the likes of Hue, Nest, Insteon, Wink, and SmartThings.

The advantage of Microsoft’s approach here is that HomeHub will be running on fully functional Windows 10 PCs, as opposed to voice-interfacing-only devices like Echo or Echo Dot (or even the new Echo Show with its 7-inch display). However, Microsoft still has to contend with the fact that Amazon reportedly has cornered 70 percent of the smart speaker market with its Echo family. Couple that with Amazon’s lead with respect to skills integration and hardware support; many people might not even care that HomeHub also affords them a full Windows 10 experience.

HomeHub will likely be incorporated into Windows 10 Redstone 3, which is scheduled for release later this year. According to the report, Microsoft may unveil HomeHub later this month at its Surface event in Shanghai

(Images courtesy The Verge)