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In December 2016 Microsoft confirmed a rumour, first reported by ourselves back in October, that Harman Kardon is working with Microsoft on an Amazon Echo-like device powered by Cortana.
Now that device has passed through WIFI certification, and revealed an interesting detail – that the speaker is powered by Linux.
In some ways the news is not surprising – Cortana has now found a home on a very wide variety of devices, most of which, such as Android phones and Volvo cars, certainly do not run any version of a Microsoft OS.
The device will likely use the Cortana Devices SDK. The Cortana Devices SDK will basically allow device manufacturers such as Harman Kardon to integrate Cortana into any hardware, with Microsoft’s own specification for a digital assistant requiring higher end hardware including a screen.
It is however a reminder that Microsoft does not appear to have a competitive IoT OS in the market at present, with most developers looking elsewhere.
On the plus side however the speaker passing through certification suggests it will not be long before it hits the market, and we may see it shown off at MWC 2017 for example.
See Harman’s teaser video below to whet your appetite: