Microsoft's connected home ambitions with Home Hub lay far beyond just competing with Amazon and Google.
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.
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...