For the past few months, rumors about Microsoft building (and not building) an Echo competitor have shown up and drifted away several times but this instance, it looks like we may get something that rivals the device Amazon and Google. Teased on the Windows YouTube channel is a speaker that has Cortana built-in and it may be just what I have been looking for to integrate into my Windows ecosystem.
Unfortunately, we don’t have many details about the device but it is coming from Harman Kardon and it’s a speaker system that includes Cortana integration. You can watch the video below and we will know more about the device in 2017.
I hope that when they say 2017, they will show off more at CES as it would seem odd to tease something now and then not reveal it for many more months. With the tradeshow happening early next month, this may be the first wave of pre-CES releases to draw attention to upcoming products.
The video shows off what appears to be a cylinder-like device with Cortana being on the top of hardware (it appears to be a device similar in shape to an Echo). If Microsoft’s strategy truly is to use third-party vendors to build Cortana cubes (devices that integrate Cortana into them), we might be on the cusp of hearing a lot more about products that fall into this category.
For now, all we can do is wait but it does look like Microsoft and Harman Kardon are cooking up something that will hopefully take on the Echo and Google Home.