New information surfaces about Microsoft’s Home Hub, the software rival to Amazon’s Echo and Google Home

Dave W. Shanahan

In a post on Windows Central (WC), Zac Bowden goes into detail about what is expected to be Home Hub, Microsoft’s version of Amazon Echo (Alexa) or Google Home. The new details on Microsoft’s Home Hub should be taken as just rumors until Microsoft makes an official announcement.

According to WC’s sources, Home Hub is going to be “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.” Apparently, this is a big project for Microsoft and Home Hub will go beyond what Amazon Echo and Google Home will be able to do.

According to WC, here’s what Microsoft has planned for 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.

Home Hub isn’t a dedicated device — it’s just the software on your PC, no additional hardware required
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.”

For now, it is unclear if and when Home Hub will be included in the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update or if we will see Home Hub come with a Windows 10 update further down the road. Stay tuned and we will see if Microsoft plans on giving any real details on Home Hub.