We have been reporting about Microsoft’s Home Hub plans for a while now. Initially, Home Hub was rumored to be a Cortana-powered speaker to take on the Amazon Echo. But Microsoft has bigger plans with Home Hub — as it was revealed recently, Microsoft plans to take the family PC a step further with Home Hub in Windows 10. Today, more details and internal concepts of Windows 10’s Home Hub has been leaked online in all its glory, and it looks pretty huge.
Home Hub will power new shared PC experiences in Windows 10. For instance, Home Hub’s home screen will show the calendar for the family, their to-do lists, as well as all of their notes. According to previous reports, Home Hub will be able to distinguish between different users just like Google’s Home speaker, meaning that users should be able to check out their own personal to-do lists, and schedule on their family’s Home Hub as well. The welcome screen in Home Hub devices will apparently be always on, which is certainly an interesting feature.
More importantly, Home Hub will let users control their smart home devices. Microsoft is apparently planning on adding support for devices from smart home gadget makers like Phillips Hue, Google’s Nest, Insteon, Wink, and Samsung’s SmartThings. Windows 10 users will then be able to control all of their smart devices in their home right from their Home Hub device using the dedicated app — for instance, they will be able to control their Hue lights right from the app, or control their Nest thermostat from the exact same device which is really, really neat.
The Home Hub leak comes just hours after Amazon launched a similar new product called the Echo Show. When compared to Home Hub, Amazon’s Echo Show looks very basic in terms of the feature. The only main feature of the Echo Show is video calling, which you will easily be able to do via Skype on the Home Hub. But the shared family features on Home Hub is going to be really useful for families, so it will be interesting to see if the platform manages to take off.
Home Hub is expected to arrive in Windows 10 with the next major update that’s scheduled to arrive around September of this year. Microsoft’s annual developer conference starts tomorrow, which is where the company is expected to detail the future of Windows 10. The company also has another big-ish event in Shanghai later this month. It’s possible Microsoft will announce Home Hub at Build 2017 later this week, but it’s more likely the company will do a much bigger reveal of Home Hub at its event in Shanghai on May 23rd.