Microsoft has been working on a new Windows 10 feature called HomeHub to compete with devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, and it looks promising.
HomeHub will be Microsoft's answer to the Amazon Echo and its growing popularity, aiming to create a family environment for a Windows 10 PC where all family members would get shared access to apps, calendars, and a new welcome screen.
Microsoft is also expected to design HomeHub with support for smart home devices such as Philips Hue lights and more, with Windows 10 serving as a hub for controlling and managing smart home gadgets.
This is not the first time that news about Microsoft's upcoming HomeHub comes to light, but this time The Verge got its hands on some internal concepts revealing just how Microsoft envisioned the whole thing.
Microsoft Windows 10 HomeHub Features
According to the publication, the most notable addition will be a welcome screen with an "always on" digital board that enables family members to take notes, use calendars, view to-do lists and such others. It could be the digital version of notes and lists stuck to the fridge, for instance.
This new welcome screen is reportedly designed for kitchen PCs and smaller hardware devices equipped with a display, which support Cortana voice commands. Microsoft is apparently working on optimizing Windows 10 for future devices similar to smart speakers such as the new Amazon Echo Show, offering quick access to calling, voice search and control for smart home devices. To stand out from the crowd, Microsoft reportedly wants such devices to be deemed as full Windows 10 PCs.
Windows 10 Update In September: What To Expect
Microsoft reportedly plans to add a number of new features with the upcoming Windows 10 update slated for September, including the new welcome screen, easy calling and shared desktops.
The update is further expected to bring some tweaks to improve the Cortana experience, as well as support for third-party smart home hardware. The Verge notes that Microsoft aims to support a number of gadgets with its connected home app, including Nest, Philips Hue, SmartThings, and Wink devices. Just like Amazon Echo speakers send commands to smart home devices via Alexa, Microsoft's take will rely on Cortana to do so.
With smart home devices increasingly gaining ground, it makes sense for Microsoft to want to join the party. Windows 10 adoption is on the rise and the ability to manage and control smart devices straight within the OS should further boost its appeal, bringing it more in line with recent trends.
Microsoft has been collaborating with various PC makers including Lenovo and HP for new hardware or revamped versions of existing PCs with this new home focus in mind. Both Lenovo and HP should launch new all-in-one Windows 10 PCs for the holiday season and the hardware should support features such as the new home screen or waking via Cortana voice commands.
These new Windows 10 features will be available on devices from Microsoft PC partners and more information should become available shortly. Microsoft has a special event scheduled for May 23 in Shanghai and exciting announcements are in the cards.