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Microsoft’s Cortana-Powered Speaker To Rival Amazon Echo And Google Home; Invoke Speaker With Skype Integration

First Posted: May 11, 2017 03:00 AM EDT

Microsoft recently announced that its internet-connected speaker will debut this fall. Microsoft teamed up with Harman Kardon company to make this device possible. Harman Kardon is a manufacturer of home and car audio equipment. The Microsoft speaker is called the "Invoke."

According to Trusted Reviews, the Invoke speaker is the first intelligent speaker to feature Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant. The device is expected to rival the speakers like Google's Home and Amazon's Echo. Users can easily ask the voice assistant Cortana to play music, check the traffic, set calendar schedules, listen to the latest news and events, control smart home thermostats and many more.

Some speakers tend to sound cheap and tinny. But the partnership of Microsoft and Harmon Kardon means that the Invoke speaker will not have these common problems. The Microsoft Invoke speaker will have seven microphones to listen for users barking orders. Microsoft is still looking for a way to upgrade the Invoke for it to stand out from any other speakers.

As CNBC noted, Microsoft also added a Skype built-in feature to the Invoke speaker. With the Skype integrated feature, users are allowed to call cellphones and other Skype users using the device. This feature is not available on Google Home or Amazon Echo.

The Skype integration feature means that the Microsoft Invoke speaker could function as a slick-looking speaker phone and receive Skype calls, too. This makes the Microsoft Invoke speaker potentially more useful than either the Amazon Echo or Google Home.

More details about the Microsoft Invoke speaker and other devices are expected to be revealed at the company's annual Build developer conference. The Invoke speaker and other speakers with voice assistants only exist to collect information from its users.

A Gizmodo report stated that it is easier for the company to sell something to the users if there is a lot of information the company has on a user. There was a case where Google irritated a user by delivering unsolicited ads for Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Also, Amazon Echo takes note on what kinds of products are bought when the user orders them via Alexa.

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