Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Microsoft is working on a new smart speaker

Paul Thurrott's Short Takes May 11 Microsoft is working on a new smart speaker
Sherri Watson | 12 May, 2018, 15:50

Microsoft and Apple are probably the one firms that don't have any smart speakers in India.

As per the study on the response of different smart speakers by LoupVentures, Microsoft's Cortana did manage to outsmart Siri in intelligence but lagged behind Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant. Similarly, in a vice-versa scenario, while operating a device housing Cortana as the default assistant, the user would have to request Cortana to invoke Alexa. One of the primary cause of this is the limited use of Window's phone which has now been officially closed by the company.

Despite having been in the virtual assistant business since 2014, both Amazon and Microsoft struggle for the same reason - not having their own native operating systems on which mobile devices run. For every company that took a look at the Amazon Echo and thought, "How hard can this be to manufacture", they forgot a couple of key points. The company will need to price the smart speaker according to their marketplace so that they can increase it. Also, with Cortana being deployed by Microsoft once again, we wonder what new features could be added to a new smart speaker so that it avoids the fate of the Invoke (which is seen in the image at the top of this story).

At CES 2018, Qualcomm also revealed that its smart home technology also supports Cortana. The device is in an early stage of development and will be powered by Snapdragon 212 SoC. Google Home, on the other hand, has exceptional AI smarts exclusively to the astounding capabilities of the Google Assistant.

Even this is also not clear whether the company will launch two smart speakers together like Google and Amazon or it will launch a single speaker with all premium qualities like Apple's HomePod.