Rumour: Microsoft and Quanta may be working on own-brand Smart Speaker

Paul Thurrott's Short Takes May 11

All the big tech firms of the world have already laid their hands on the artificial assistant and machine learning segment.

The report also suggests that the hardware of the smart speaker is still in nascent stage and the speaker might not launch at least for next few months. While Google brought its Assistant in Home, Apple introduced it in Homepod.

Microsoft has already partnered with Samsung's audio equipment maker Harman Kardon to launch the Cortana-powered Invoke device previous year but now it seems it will introduce its own branded speaker to use the influence of the Microsoft name to mount a realistic challenge to Amazon's Echo and Google's Home. Even Amazon launched its Alexa-based Echo speakers. Now, as per some new papers, the firm is operating on a self-developed smart device.


Microsoft might be ready to rejoin the smart speaker wars with a new reference device made by partnering ODM Quanta. The smart speaker is most likely to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 chipset, which is based on ARM Cortex-A7 architecture. Also cited is that the design does not essentially mean it is a personal speaker by Microsoft. It could also be a reference design for third-party manufacturers.

For those who are not aware, past year Microsoft rolled out the Invoke speaker fueled by Cortana. As Amazon's Alexa and Google's assistant get plastered on everything with a microphone attached, Microsoft lacking presence seemed to be a signal that the company would rather sit this competition out rather than make a go at an also-ran device with limited visibility. It gives alerts to users about their upcoming meetings or other plans. For now, Google and Amazon are sharing the smart speaker pie in the country.

Apple and Microsoft are probably the companies that do not have any smart device in India. Google has lately rolled out its Home Mini and Home, while Amazon lately rolled out its Echo Spot.

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