Three tech giants enter the Thunderdome, but only one can walk away the victor. In a battle to command your entire technological life, Google, Amazon, and now Microsoft are looking to connect every device under the sun their way and their way only — Google with Google Home, Amazon with Amazon Echo, and Microsoft with its in-production project codenamed “Project Evo.”
At the Windows Hardware Engineering Community event (WinHEC), a once cancelled but revitalised hardware and software developer-oriented event by Microsoft (think Apple’s WWDC), the hoary tech Goliath proudly bellowed its plan to develop devices that will work similar to Google Home and Amazon Echo, a series of software and hardware that will be interconnected; this interconnectivity will happen through voice commands similar to the way Home and Echo work.
In a blog post published on December 8, Terry Myerson, Windows and Device Group’s executive vice president, explained in detail the company’s hope for “Project Evo.”
“Windows has always been about deep partnerships that marry the best innovation across hardware, software, and services to provide our customers with ground-breaking experiences and great device choices. One of our most important partners making this possible is Intel, and today, I’m thrilled to announce our latest collaboration, codenamed ‘Project Evo,'” Myerson wrote. “With Project Evo, Microsoft and Intel will deliver all-new ways for devices to light up with the latest in advanced security, artificial intelligence and Cortana, mixed reality, and gaming.”
In collaboration with Intel, one of the world’s largest computer chip and technology manufacturers, Microsoft aims to bring far-field speech communication, security capabilities, mixed reality experiences, and eSports, game broadcasting, and high gaming fidelity (4K, HDR, etc.) to their future Windows devices.
Working with Qualcomm, one of the largest — if not the largest — computer chip and architecture manufacturers, Microsoft also hopes to make it easier for chip and computer companies to innovate with laptops and desktops without losing power or efficiency, or compromising on the device’s form factor.
“In future Windows 10 updates, we will enable connectivity that is always within reach. We will help customers easily buy data directly from the Windows Store and put them in control of how they use Wi-Fi and cellular networks, consume data, and manage costs. We will enable our partners to build always-connected devices without hindering form factor design. Specifically, partners can take advantage of eSIM technology to build devices without an exposed SIM slot, making it easier for people to activate a data plan right on their device,” Myerson states in the post.
All of this comes at an interesting time, where interconnectivity is all the rage and “if my devices ain’t talking to each other then it interrupts my workflow.”
Google wants to be everywhere, including within your home. Amazon doesn’t just want to be an online retailer, and thus has begun opening bookstores and is talking about opening grocery stores as well. Microsoft seems to want to inform the world that it’s more than a console and computer maker, but also an innovator in security and text-to-speech and device interconnectivity. What’s most compelling is the desire for these companies to ensure the devices communicate with each other for greater efficiency. Apple has Continuity and Handoff, features that allow iDevices and Macs to communicate with one another for continuous workflow. Now Microsoft wants to get a piece of the pie, ensuring that they are capable of getting their devices to talk to each other with similar language.
With “Project Evo” in the works and “Project Scorpio” on the horizon, Microsoft has a lot of projects to complete.
You can watch the hour-long conference on Channel 9.
[Featured Image Ron Wurzer/Getty Images]