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Microsoft's Home Hub concept looks to bring an all-new Windows experience to your home [exclusive]

Rumors regarding a new Windows 10 feature called "Home Hub" have been making the rounds on the internet recently. At first, it was thought that Home Hub would be some sort of Amazon Echo competitor, and although that's not entirely true, it isn't entirely false either.

So just what is it, then? Our sources have confirmed that Home Hub is a Windows 10 feature designed to make your PC the center of your home, by making shared PCs more communal and bringing the connected home to Windows.

We've been speaking with various sources to piece together everything planned for Home Hub — it's a really big project for Microsoft. So much so that not everything detailed here will likely make the initial release, and may even get cut before it ever reaches Insiders. With that in mind, settle in for a detailed look at what Microsoft has envisioned for Home Hub.

What is Home Hub?

Home Hub is a software feature that has been in the works since before the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Redstone 1) was released. In fact, the Anniversary Update includes some features that are directly linked with Home Hub, such as Cortana being accessible from the lockscreen. More of Home Hub is expected to show up in the Creators Update (Redstone 2), with the bulk of Home Hub scheduled for Redstone 3 (late-2017) and Redstone 4 (in 2018).

Home Hub isn't a dedicated device that's designed to take on the likes of the Amazon Echo and Google Home, as in the end, Home Hub is just the software. But that software can do everything the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices can, but with one added benefit: a screen. Home Hub is designed to run on Windows 10 PCs, mainly All-In-Ones and 2-in-1's with touch screens, but can work on any Windows 10 machine. Pen and ink support are also part of the plan.

Home Hub isn't a dedicated device — it's just the software on your PC, no additional hardware required

Adding a screen to these smart devices makes these things so much more approachable and useful, especially to families. Microsoft's end goal with Home Hub is to make shared PCs much more communal and helpful for multiple people that have to use them. By introducing new sharing features, new user interfaces, always-listening Cortana and apps that take advantage of new APIs, Home Hub becomes a compelling competitor to other smart assistants on the market.

Home Hub Family Desktop

With Windows as it currently stands, a shared family PC is confined to individual accounts that individual users must switch between to gain access and use their shared PC. There's also a guest account that's simply a standard user without a password that anyone can use. This method of sharing a PC is considered clunky internally at Microsoft, and with Home Hub the company aims to improve this experience significantly.

With Home Hub, a PC can be unlocked without a password, yet still provide access to the same family data, including apps, documents, bookmarks and more that has been shared with a family. So for example, the "Bowden" family might have a shared PC that four people use. Each user will have their own account of course, but there will also be a "family account" that is always logged in. That account can see everything the 'family' is supposed to see, such as specific apps, calendar appointments, to-do's, and more.

In the case of calendar appointments, a member of the "Bowden" family can open up the Calendar app and see all the appointments that have been shared with the family. The magic here is whichever user is using the PC can authenticate themselves with Windows Hello, and see their own private calendar events in addition to what's shared with the family. Then, once that particular user is done, they can sign off, hiding all their private calendar appointments, yet keeping the family shared appointments there and readily available for another family member to view.

This functionality will extend to apps on phones too — including iPhone, Android and Windows 10 Mobile.

With the Family Desktop, Family Enabled Apps will take advantage of the shared account and do similar things to that of the Calendar app as shown in the above example.

This functionality will extend to apps on phones too, including Android, iOS, and Windows 10 Mobile. If you've got kids, these Family Enabled apps will know whether it's appropriate to be showing kids particular content, which is perfect for families who can't always police their children at their PCs or phones.

Home Hub Welcome Screen

In addition to the standard desktop UI with Family Desktop, Microsoft is also looking at bringing a new shared workspace to Windows 10 with Home Hub called "Welcome Screen." Microsoft's goal with the Welcome Screen is for it to act kind of like a virtual fridge door, with your calendar, sticky notes, to-do lists, and more all visible for the entire family to see.

The Welcome Screen uses the same "family account" and can launch family-enabled apps with the shared family desktop.

Recreated Home Hub Welcome Screen concept (also first look at NEON?)

Recreated Home Hub Welcome Screen concept (also first look at NEON?)

This shared workspace will run above the desktop experience — beneath your Home Hub "PC" is still a full PC, with access to the taskbar, start menu, action center and more if the user needs it. By default, however, a Home Hub PC is designed to be communal and informative, to sit on a kitchen counter or living room shelf for everyone to see, giving the new Welcome Screen an informational purpose.

Cortana will always be listening when on the Welcome Screen, allowing users to activate her from across the room if they need. This technology has clearly grown out of Kinect for the Xbox One. The assistant can do everything Cortana can usually do, such as reminders, appointments, weather, news, jokes, play music, open apps, and a whole lot more.

The service will also be able to control smart-home devices, which is something we'll dive into more in a bit. All of this makes Cortana on Home Hub a much more viable competitor to what Google Home and the Amazon Echo offer.

Above is our concept recreation that showcases what Microsoft is envisioning for the Home Hub Welcome Screen, based on internal Microsoft concept designs. We've seen several internal ideas for the Welcome Screen, each looking slightly different, as Microsoft is still fine-tuning and weighing options for this UI.

A few of our sources have claimed that the Home Hub Welcome Screen will be one of the first user-interfaces to feature design elements from Project NEON, a new design language for Windows 10 that we exclusively unveiled last week. If true, this may be our first, early look at the future design of Windows 10, which is pretty exciting, to say the least. Other internal concepts that we cannot share use much more blur and lots of clean animations. Project NEON is looking to be a very clean, optimized and sexy design language that we can't wait to see when finished.

Home Hub Cortana

In the concept seen above, you may have noticed the Cortana icon on the Welcome Screen is surrounded by an orange color rather than the standard blue. That's intentional, as that's how Microsoft plans to differentiate Cortana between an individual user's notebook and the family notebook. Yes, Microsoft is looking at making Cortana more family orientated by making her understand the family identity.

An oranage circle distinguishes 'FamTana' (Family Cortana) from personal Cortana

An oranage circle distinguishes 'FamTana' (Family Cortana) from personal Cortana

What does that mean exactly? Well, our sources suggest Cortana will be able to view family content in shared scenarios as well as be able to create and view personal and family content when authenticated as an individual user rather than the shared family account. This integration will naturally work with things like calendar events, home automation devices, missed calls and notifications, and more. What's more, we're told that this feature is referred to as "FamTana" internally.

The ability for Cortana to serve more than one user stands in stark contrast to Google

The ability for Cortana to serve more than one user stands in stark contrast to perhaps the biggest limitation to Google Home.

FamTana won't share your personal info unless you're authenticated at the family PC at that current time. Only then will she show you your private notifications, reminders, calendar events and whatever else. We've also heard FamTana will at some point be able to stream music from 3rd party services, which is exciting.

Finally, we're told Microsoft is working on making it possible for Cortana to wake up PCs with voice commands, which will be excellent for Home Hub PCs that might be configured to go to sleep after a certain amount of inactivity.

Home Hub Connected Home

In what might be the most exciting part of this whole project, Microsoft is working on bringing the connected "smart home" to Windows 10 with Home Hub. The goal is to make Windows 10 the central hub for all your smart home devices, including lights, doors, locks and more. With Cortana integration allowing you to use your voice to toggle and control the smart devices in your home, the picture for Home Hub becomes complete: it brings Windows 10 to the center of your entire home.

Microsoft is building a dedicated "Connected Home" app that will make adding smart devices to your home easy; with an overview of all the smart devices in your home and options to turn them on and off, configure them, and more. You'll also be able to group devices to individual rooms; for example, you could have Hue lights 1, 2 and 3 grouped under the Bedroom tag and tell the Home Hub to "turn off the bedroom lights". This app will work much like most other smart home apps, except this one will have deep integration with Windows 10.

The goal is to make Windows 10 the central hub for your entire smart home.

The Connected Home app will work with smart-connected devices that support OCF (Open Connectivity Foundation) and OpenT2T (Open Translators to Things), so out of the gate, it will support most smart devices available on the market. Devices like Hue Light Bulbs, which are popular among smart-home users, will work right out of the box on Windows 10 with Home Hub. Exciting indeed.

In fact, Windows 10 will be smart enough to automatically detect when a new smart-device has been connected to your network and will prompt you with a pop-up asking whether you want to add this device to your connected home automatically.

That's just one example of how Home Hub connects your home to Windows 10 with deep integration. With an always-listening Cortana on the Welcome Screen, your house immediately becomes much more controllable with voice commands. You can ask Cortana to control lights, locks, and more, just like the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices, except this functionality is built right into your Windows 10 device.

Home Hub hardware — the device play

Home Hub isn't a specific hardware device it's software for your PC. But that doesn't mean manufacturers can't build hardware dedicated to Home Hub however. We're told Microsoft is encouraging 3rd-party OEMs to make All-in-Ones designed specifically for Home Hub, with Lenovo and HP already in talks with Microsoft about bringing touch-enabled AiOs with Home Hub to the market in late 2017. This hardware will be designed to fit in the living room or kitchen, with the goal of these devices to look "at home" with the rest of the home environment.

Think of large touch screen devices that eschew keyboards (although you can, of course, connect one). If that all sounds like Microsoft's Surface Hub, but for the home instead of the conference room, you would be correct.

As far as we know, Microsoft isn't building its own device dedicated to Home Hub, but then again it doesn't need to. The Surface Studio is already an all-in-one and will work great with Home Hub once it's available. Home Hub will work on any PC that can run Windows 10 in theory but will shine with devices that have touchscreens, Windows Hello, far-field Cortana support, inking and more.

If that all sounds like Surface Hub for the home, you would be correct.

Newer Home Hub-enabled devices can support things such as motion sensors and light sensors, meaning when there's activity or movement in the room the PC knows to stay on. Once everybody has left the room and the PC no longer detects activity, it will go into sleep mode. Cortana commands or moving around in front of the device will be able to wake it again, which is pretty neat.

Home Hub Timeline

Home Hub is a massive project for Microsoft, with a lot of it planned across for Redstone 2, 3 and 4. It's unclear when we should expect to see the whole set of Home Hub features show up for consumers. Some sources have suggested the first batch of major Home Hub bits will arrive with Redstone 3, with smaller features such as Family Desktop showing up sooner with the Creators Update.

Although Microsoft has internal projections for this stuff, that doesn't make it immune from delays or even cancellations. That's a frequent occurrence at any tech company of Microsoft's size — internal projects don't always work out, and sometimes they rise and fall entirely without public knowledge of the plans.

Most of the sources we've spoken to have all said a lot of the Home Hub stuff had been delayed for more important changes and improvements that need to be made to Windows 10, which is understandable. No single source has explicitly said that the big Home Hub stuff has been canceled, but we have heard that it might be a while before any of the interesting stuff begins to show up in public.

Regardless, after wondering what Home Hub is exactly, we've finally been able to share with you what Microsoft has planned for it. Microsoft is taking on Amazon Echo, Google Home, and even Apple HomeKit and Siri to some extend with Home Hub, and they're doing it in a big way.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

226 Comments
  • It all sounds nice but the past few years Microsoft has shown the ability to innovate in truly useful ways and then abruptly abandon and pull the creation without fully pushing it, marketing it, or refining it. Windows Phone, Family Hubs in WP8, and Kids Corner just to name a few. They never marketed them but my extended family fell in love and heavily used it all to have to shut down with nothing comparable available. I hope they finally show commitment.
  • While true, all the things you cite have one thing in common the one product that never did well as a whole: Windows phone. The issue there was those family experiences were isolated to a small system. This addresses that by being everywhere and using the PC as the hub, not the phone.
  • We all used Family Hub on the PC as well. You could add pictures or calendar events on the calendar and the whole family saw it. You could also extend that to Unlimited OneDrive which Google now does but Microsoft pulled. There is the original Microsoft Work & Play Bundle which even Microsoft store employees I spoke to are dumbfounded why Microsoft essentially killed it and thr value associated with it making them less competitive.
  • Crush them when? In 2 years after Amazon and Google release better devices than they already have out now and no one is interested anymore? The time frame is beyond disappointing.
  • I have a feeling speed to market and advertising the features is going to be Microsoft's downfall with this
  • microsoft announce surface 2 years after ipad and now whats happen ?? yes everybody try to copy it / the time doesn't matter the different make the point
  • @psurob55 Do you see Amazon or Google releasing anything worth enough to be shared on a screen instead of duplicating features that my phone already has? I don't. That's why this will be cool.
  • I understand the small user base reasoning... however, there is still the fact that some of the most popular smart home apps/hardware (nest, sonos for example) are still no where to be seen in the UWP... i understand there are a ton more out there, but without the big names... again it's a chicken and egg scenario...
  • Actually, much of that is addressed through some of this. We have seen the concepts for Hues integration for instance. We talk about how Home Hub integrates with third party smart services in this article.
  • Did u see any insteon intergration?
  • Re: TheRealBatman,
    We use Insteon with our surfaces and Windows phones.
  • Really Dan.?
    ""The goal is to make Windows 10 the central hub for your entire smart home."" Windows 8.1 Media Center is the centre of mine. Microsoft are idiots, crbuck is right.
  • Your home must not be very smart
  • It doesn't open my curtains...but then again it never snows here, so we don't need insulation.
  • "I don't need it, so Microsoft are idiots for making it". Translated that for you.
  • I need it, they already made it.
  • Re: Hiswona,
    Our whole house Windows Media Center distributes live tv, recorded tv, movies, music, and family pictures throughout our home. Insteon provides our home automation controlled by Surfaces and Windows phones.
    .
    Microsoft has the knowledge and the skills to put all this and more all together.
  • The troubling issue is that Microsoft doesn't offer consumers any way now to create a "kids" or "teen" account, despite the technology being fully baked and available through Group Policy Management Console, that interface is a NIGHTMARE for the average user.  Mac OS X has had this (with an easy-to-use interface) for probably close to a decade. This feature is desperately needed. but I'm not personally confident a bunch of male engineers at Microsoft arguing about what a family needs is going to create a great product. I mean...Microsoft Bob is all I'm saying.
  • Try this... Settings -> Accounts -> Family and other people... Click "Add a family member" Or online (and linked directly from that settings page) go to https://account.microsoft.com/family#/ (click on the button marked "Add a child" or "Add an adult")... this is not new functionality in any way, by the way... it has been around for a long time... long before Mac OS, etc.
  • 1. There are kids accounts, and there have been for a long time. 2. Microsoft Bob was made by a female engineer... She happens to be Bill Gates wife.
  • Not all Windows Phone: Windows Home Server, Home Theater PC (Centered around WMC). I invested heavily in both of those ecosysrems which were arguably more similar to home hub than anything on the phone. I didn't even mention zune since it was a different sort of product
  • But this is a "mobile" phone first generation.  Most people aren't sitting around using a PC.  And my family and I used the heck out of Rooms on the phone and that too is gone now.  cr_buck is right. Microsoft will start down this road and eventually in very soon order kill this too.  That's what they do.   
  • Every comment that I had for this article is summed up nicely above.
  • Ditto
  • Totally agree with your examples; HUGE pain in the *ss, when functionality you rely on daily gets trashed.
  • The hubs were doomed from the start. The companies that have the services wanted more control than a hug would offer them. Kids corner wasn't used by hardly anyone.
  • That's exactly my point. It was barely marketed or developed. Every parent I showed it loved it and wanted it. Samsung copied it and didn't even try to hide the fact and has continued to evolve it into a differentiator. Now its far better than kids corner ever became and I see parents using it regularly, myself included.
  • Well, it didn't pick up steam even though their entire launch event was about it.
  • Because they never continued with it. Did they add new features or refine it? When it was canned it still had some nagging glitches like periodically changing the primary users settings. Besides they buried in settings pretty quickly. That's exactly my point. Microsoft goes all in on something and just when things get tough they pull the plug instead of pushing harder. If that same logic was used in the past Windows would have been canned at version 1 and Android wouldn't be here either.
  • Not to make excuses, but all that was before Microsoft reorganised.  Since Windows 10, I have not seen Microsoft make so many improvements so quickly ever.  That's not to say they won't make a giant XP/8 misstep again, but they're getting a lot more early feedback now so it isn't a giant echochamber of engineers.
  • That may be true but I have been a Windows pc user since dos and I had never heard of any of those features until subscribing to websites like this. Maybe they did push them at launch events but it never made enough waves to reach out to 90% of the population.
  • I've been a user since DOS 5.0 myself. A lot of features I have found by digging through Windows. I have found many great features that just shocked me Microsoft never pushed. I even had colleagues in IT that didn't know about them. Maybe that's why I ended up in IT. ;-)
  • Kids Corner started on the wrong foot, you still needed to put your PIN to open it, same PIN that was needed to access the regular section of the phone. I don't know if they ever changed that before canning it, I stopped using it because of that. At least if it didn't need a PIN or have its own PIN different that the regular one. I thought that was the whole point of kids corner, so the kid could play without touching your own stuff, but you still needed to let him in or he knew your PIN to get in.
  • I guess the point was if they were able to access kids corner from the main ui than they would already have access to everything else.
  • Yep, it sounds quite interesting but i don't see them seeing this through either as its a consumer focused feature that's going to need dedication to fully flesh out over time, and with no o365, azure or any other cloud connection to generate revenue it will be abandoned by the cloud focused Microsoft at some point for some new cloud initiative.
  • Lol viewing family calendar requires office 365 subscription
  • I'd be more inclined to think they would require Office 365 to enable a Family OneDrive.  Like how there's OneDrive for Business, there'd be OneDrive for Family.  If they bundle it with a Groove Pass and maybe Xbox Live Gold for PC or something, I can see it being a hit, even though I understand you were being sarcastic.
  • Honestly, I wouldn't pay extra for that. I feel like the family/home hub software is going to become expected. There is a reason why, despite many implementations, Microsoft keeps revisiting the idea of family oriented tech.
  • Forgot about the latest abandonment.. The Microsoft Band
  • Microsoft to me is just one big beta program.... the products are continously worked on in a alpha/beta state and eventually they are abandoned.    Other ones you forgot: Games for Windows Live (completely F'd gamers) Silverlight XNA Band Windows Phone (I would say dead) I would say both Vista and Win 8 were abandoned to a degree Kinect (although technically still supporting it) I could go on and on as far as software development tools and languages, and the ones listed are just recent.   The current MS Store is crap, they might as well have kept GFWL going it was better than what they have for the MS Store.    
  • Windows vista and 8 were unpopular. They improved vista, and 7 came out of it. 10 is becoming the improvement of Windows 8/8.1
  • Zune! :)  I loved Zune.
  • The reboot of phone should be the Zune HD player with phone built in. It was an awesome piece of tech. I still have all my zune products and use them!
  • Let's take a look at all the other failed Google products shall we?
  • all companies have products that abandonment​ like nexus q like nexus like apple airport​ and apple monitors​ and Apple Bandai Pippin​ and nexus player and many many more
  • Totally agree. As you stated there are numerous examples. Mine was Single Sign In. I adopted Passport (so named at the time) on all my sites way before Google and Facebook. Microsoft never followed through with their promises. I adopted many more only to be burned later. It's not worth the time and investment to use anything new from Microsoft. I am interested Hololens but expect the same thing to happen. Microsoft use to be innovative.
  • As MS putting more and more "features" into W10, they should consider to put together a feature list or even a full manual.  No one can keep track on all those things.
  • Theyre just throwing things at a wall
  • As opposed to what, letting the desktop OS just die? There's at least a game plan here, a vision for a connected home that doesn't require proprietary hardware. I also don't seeing Google or Apple doing anything very exciting here either.
  • Feels more like they're chasing. Sure its a different implementation of a smart connected home but it's not the next big paradigm shift like what Nadella is talking about. Yes I know coding takes forever. But we've had Cortana for how many years now? This isn't exciting because it's very "yeah no ****". They should have implemented this by now. We have to wait until redstone 8000 to have the full breadth of this realized? What? Look I don't care for apple but they don't do things like this. They have 1 conference once a year. And it's ALWAYS a finished product. Not built piecemeal. I feel like Microsoft waits for other companies to start DOING something, or for specific feedback from insiders... Before they try to build and implement something. It's as if they have no forward thinking cells in their brain. All those smart ppl and not one is a visionary? Give me the reins, I can make everyone happy quicker than Microsoft can lol
  • The smart/connected home thing right now is like wearables. It's not some market that is already saturated or even close to being dominated. It's actually a total shit show with tons of proprietary services and incompatible hardware. Ironically, it could be someone like Microsoft who pushes it forward since there are already so many home PCs and laptops. I think you're overly concerned with this tiny market. I get it, you want everything last year. That's not how this works though.
  • Perhaps. To be seen I guess
  • Daniel I have to somewhat agree and also disagree with your statement about wearables. If you are using windows mobile then yes, there is a a lot of incompatibility….move to android or iPhone and pretty well every wearable works with any device. Android wear devices work with iPhone via app support, the only thing that does not work is music control. Garmin, fitbit, etc all 100% fully function with both IOS and Android. where as with windows mobile you get spotty support. Wearables are moving along nicely. The integration of apple's watch and iPhone is awesome. ONLY if MS took the nokia designed watch, pushed it and had it working with windows mobile and the lumias it would have been awesome. The band was a mediocre attempt at wearable technology. It had some good ideas, but the form factor and crappy build quality failed.
  • The company that bought us the HoloLens is not forward thinking. Ok
  • The HoloLens is cool…but I don't think it will ever be a mainstream device like a phone computer or tablet based device.
  • Loll. They need to stop trying to be rivals to apple-Google and go back to ' the buck stops with us' But they are on the way out and is too late.
    Soon as the likes of Autodesk, Adobe etc find alternative OS's... Game over.
  • This alternative OS already exists, it's called macOS and in fact one of the companies you mentioned, Adobe, often releases new Creative Cloud apps there first. Pretty sure it never posed that much of a problem to Windows' dominance.
  • Which proves my point.
    Everybody is looking for alternatives.
    Mac is not it but don't rule out Tizen.
  • Everybody is looking for money​, not alternatives. So they are looking at installed base. What was your point again?
  • @Hiswona  No. Try again.
  • What?  Yeah!! More year of Linux desktop talk.  /s ​By the way,  both Autodesk and Adobe do support other OS's.  Autodesk has many of their programs on Linux for years and that has not really meant anything towards the overall uptick of that OS.  And like Adobe, Autodesk also supports MacOS as well. Even so, many design/video houses have continously moved off of what was once a dominated Mac space year after year to the Windodws ecosystem. An increasing user base is reverse of leaving the space. So, what OS do you think is on their way out? Definitely not Windows by those marks But, I am willing to listen about some mythcal OS that will be coming soon (that is as long as it is not more year of the Linux desktop talk.)
  • It's a great idea, for sure, and Microsoft really needs to get into the smart home space, but you don't use iOS consistently, and I forget exactly, but you either don't have or don't use an Apple Watch, so as for Apple not doing anything exctiing...it's a stretch to say you're a good judge of that  Apple at least HAS a Home Hub app and the ability to designate an iPad or a 4th Gen Apple TV as the Home Hub device for a secure way of interacting with smart devices while away from home. I couldn't get my iHome Smart Plug to pair with the iHome app, but it paired right away through Apple Home.  And I love being able to lift my wrist and tell Siri to turn plugs on or off, or change my Hue lights, and I love being able to use one app to automate all my different smart devices (almost all, Nest being the exception). I haven't bothered to try and use Android with any of my smart home devices to know the state of affairs there, but I haven't found ANY first-party apps for smart devices on Windows, so even before this interface appears, Microsoft needs to work with vendors on the app situation, otherwise it's just another tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it.
  • Yeah, I wish Cortana would keep track of all these features for us ;). "I see you have this use pattern, have you tried/seen this feature..." would be awesome!
  • This sounds great. I've often found myself thinking that I want Cortana to synchronize better between devices. Heck, I can't even speak to my Kinect without my Surface Pro 4 going haywire. That said, I'm kind of in the process of swapping out the PC for the Xbox as my main 'Home' device. I'll still use a Surface as a portable PC, but I was hoping to make the Project Scorpio my main device for the home in the future. For games, TV, music, and so on.
  • I don't see why the Home Hub stuff wouldn't be integrated into XBOX too. I think it could happen...
  • It could in 2008, this is a different Microsoft.
  • Exactly, you've been paying attention, as it's obvious it would. The next Xbox will be able to do all this. That's the point.
  • Exactly, you've been paying attention, as it's obvious it would. The next Xbox will be able to do all this. That's the point.
  • Build your own Scorpio, i5, gtx1070, 16gb ram and windows 10...
  • This......... is very cool. Was wondering about their silence regarding bring Cortana to more of an "Echo" or standalone type of device. Well, that solves THAT lol.
  • Hmm, not sure if a shared PC is all that common anymore. The only way I see this working is if there are actually Echo/Google Home type devices which it sounds like there will be. Your move Apple.
  • Pretty sure that was covered in the article: OEMs like Lenovo and HP will introduce Home Hub specific devices to the market, devices that are meant to be placed in your living room or kitchen. They're not meant to be used with keyboard and mouse, but you'd be able to connect them if you want.
  • Good, the more competition the better.
  • Homekit
  • Let me guess; Cortana dependant? Then it'll tank. Why? Because lots and lots and LOTS of us simply do not have access to Cortana. The lowest common denominator wins in these games; people will choose the system that works ok for THEM, rather than the system that works well for a few. And eventually the few will (have to) follow...
  • The UX and feature set is not completely dependent on Cortana. Apps and services roam.
  • Fingers crossed for that, but I'd prefer it if they actually got Cortana out to the rest of us, even if English was the default language and functionality was limited. It's holding them back, and it's slowly but surely eroding their user base, as their rivals are already here...
  • cortana is in android and ios , so many phones have acces to it and guess what google now and siri are both exclusive to one platform
  • It's not a question of platforms; it's a question of national borders, and language to a lesser degree. Cortana is not available in my country, and heaps others. Even those of us who wouldn't mind using it in English, have to switch to US or UK region to get access to it, gimping the entire system in the process...
  • Using Cortana?....my experience with Cortana is similar to speaking to a two year old in a language which is second to them.
  • Yeah I have the same issue with her too. In the end I just had to disable her on my XB1.
     
  • Really? I've found Cortana to be FAR better than Siri and OK Google. The only thing that comes close to rivaling it for me is Alexa.
  • Cortana as a device would bring her closer to what we had in Halo and the novelty of the idea woul