One day, some day in the far future, Microsoft will release a Cortana personal assistant, and, given that it will run Windows 10, it will be required to have a screen, as specified by Microsoft’s own minimum specifications.
Well before then Amazon will have released their own upgraded Amazon Echo speaker, which features an integrated screen. The company is already dominating the voice-based personal assistant scene and is looking to take it to the next level.
From the looks of the device, leaked by Evan Blass, Microsoft has been cut a break, because I don’t think too many people will be inviting this monstrosity into their homes.
Seemingly inspired by a 1950 TV, the device features a large screen, camera and oodles of pockmarked black plastic, which looks kind of cool on a cylindrical Amazon Echo, but rather tacky on a device which will likely cost north of $300.
It is rumoured to be released this month, and its reception will be a sign of how strong the cult of Alexa is. The personal assistant has gone from strength to strength and currently has more than 10,000 3rd party skills to extend it. Microsoft, on the other hand, is still to release their Cortana Skills Kit which would allow developers to port their Alexa skills to Cortana, and we are still awaiting the launch of their first Cortana-powered speaker by Harman Kardon into the market.
Microsoft can clearly do better, but fortunately for the company, so clearly can Amazon.