Microsoft's Chromecast competitor begins to take shape

The clues don't lie

Chromecast

Is there room for another TV-casting dongles? Microsoft would probably say "yes," considering the company is apparently working on its own.

Microsoft's Chromecast competitor hasn't officially been discussed, but the dongle did pop up in an FCC filing.

Yes, the hard workers down at the Federal Communications Commission have let yet another unannounced gadget see the light of day ahead of its time.

Granted the filing, discovered by Windows Phone Daily, lacks enough info on its own to identify the device in question, which carries the model number HD-10. But another site, Nokia Power User, was able to uncover more information.

Better than nothing

The FCC filing says explicitly that this device has an HDMI port, Wi-Fi and a USB charging unit.

That's not much to go on, but by checking the Wi-Fi Alliance product database Nokia Power User also discovered that Microsoft's HD-10 is described as a Miracast dongle.

Miracast is a wireless standard that lets devices connect to one another and share media, though it lacks some of the bells and whistles that Chromecast and Apple AirPlay have.

For example Miracast doesn't let users queue up multiple files from different sources or play multiplayer games, and it requires media to be played on other devices and sent to the TV, rather than directly from online and cloud sources.

But as GigaOM points out, something is better than nothing when it comes to getting Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 devices casting to the TV, as AirPlay and Google's Cast SDK currently ignore Microsoft's platforms.