Microsoft’s Home Hub Is Not A Cortana Cube

Posted on November 22, 2016 by Brad Sams in Windows 10 with 21 Comments

echo-hero-cortana

Leading up to the October 26th Microsoft event, the name ‘Home Hub’ popped up and many, myself included, had hoped that it would be an Amazon Echo/Google Home type device. As that event came and went, my dream of a Cortana Cube was shattered but the Home Hub name still piqued my interest.

The good news is, we now know what Home Hub is, the bad news is that it is not in any way related to Cortana Cube. Information about the meaning of Home Hub has been uncovered by Walking Cat and it’s about making the PC more family friendly.

According to the information he was able to uncover, Home Hub allows you and your family to access common tasks without logging in, such as calendars, lists, music and more. That noise you hear is the helium being let out of the balloon; this feature actually sounds like Kids Corner that was in Windows Phone.

The lack of a Cortana cube is a missed opportunity by Microsoft to maximize the value of AI assistant with consumers. It’s possible the company could build a device like this but with each passing day, Amazon and now Google are able to push further ahead with their devices (and more importantly the ecosystem of third-party extensions) which means it’s harder for Microsoft to catch-up.

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11 Comments
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  1. 4 | Reply
    Fusciacastle Alpha Member #1070 - 1 week ago

    How would this exclude the Cube?  Seems like the problem of being pegged to one account like Echo or Google Home is being resolved.  The underlying sync to all devices as well.  I would say that this elevates the potential for the existence of the cube. 

    1. 0 | Reply
      MixedFarmer75 Alpha Member #256 - 1 week ago
      In reply to Fusciacastle:
      I agree,  but where is it?   If they wait any longer the market will be cornered.   Unless they can bring something new or signicantly better, it might be too late already. 
    2. 0 | Reply
      gregsedwards Alpha Member #1910 - 1 week ago
      In reply to Fusciacastle:

      You're right. This certainly doesn't exclude there being a Cortana Cube somewhere on the horizon, but it feels like celebrating the successful launch of our hot air balloon when the other team is already on their way to Mars.

  2. 1 | Reply
    glenn8878 Alpha Member #2387 - 1 week ago

    You keep saying Microsoft is losing to the competition. That's only if you believe Microsoft can compete on eCommerce and Music/Video like Amazon or Apps like Google with its very popular Youtube and Maps. Microsoft only has Cortana and games to offer and little of anything else that people might need. Besides, Microsoft hasn't rolled out Cortana in many markets despite working on this for many years. I would never buy an AI assistant from Microsoft especially since I might already have such a device like a PC or Xbox laying around that could be adapted to use with Cortana. That's the unrealized possibility that Microsoft doesn't see. People don't want to just buy another PC product. Just sell a Cortana microphone so we might give it a try.

  3. 0 | Reply
    Jedi Dwight Alpha Member #2430 - 1 week ago

    I think they are probably still building out Cortana, whereas Amazon Echo Alexa has had a head start, as far as building skill capabilities that third parties can provide.

    But, you have to think Microsoft has a vision for where they can take Cortana. 

    I only just enabled Cortana on my work PC after 3 1/2 months of being on Windows 10.  My sole motivation: Hey Cortana, tell me a joke.

  4. 0 | Reply
    MutualCore - 6 days ago

    This is probably the software platform that can run on any Windows PC form factor including a future 'Cortana Cube' or 'Surface Home Hub'. Software eats the world, hardware is secondary.

  5. 0 | Reply
    robincapper Alpha Member #2080 - 1 week ago

    I don't see what opportunity is being missed. Echo is just a way for Amazon to sell stuff, apart from Groove media what does Microsoft have to sell from a Cortana Cube?

  6. 0 | Reply
    EnterMegatron99 Alpha Member #189 - 1 week ago

    I just want an Ergo Audrey style device w/Cortana as the interface.  Call it the Borg Cube or whatever you want...but MS is missing the boat.

  7. 0 | Reply
    Bart Alpha Member #117 - 1 week ago

    Microsoft should make a dedicated 'kids corner' PC with Cortana  integration. Allowing anyone in the family to use it. Think Echo inside a PC touchscreen form factor 

  8. 0 | Reply
    anchovylover Alpha Member #875 - 1 week ago

    I don't use Groove so I'm not familiar with how it works. I do wonder though if this is a service that includes music that the whole family can access could that raise the possibility of a Groove Family Plan being offered soon? I'm probably clutching at straws but who knows, maybe :)

  9. 0 | Reply
    nordyj Alpha Member #1237 - 1 week ago

    Sounds like a good use-case for developing something with Win10 IoT and a machined case.  ;)  I may have to try this after Home Hub goes GA.