Microsoft has the Amazon Echo and Google Home in its sights

With Amazon and Google pushing smart home speakers that can do your bidding in all kinds of clever ways, is Microsoft just going to sit by and watch? Well, apparently not.

Windows Central reports that Microsoft is planning an Amazon Echo-style product of its own called Home Hub. It's not an all-knowing speaker that sits on your coffee table though - it's going to be built into Windows 10 and help you control your smart home.

As you might expect, Cortana plays a central role in the Home Hub plan, and apparently Microsoft has been working on this for a while. Cortana access on the lock screen, which was recently added to Windows 10, is one part of the plan.

Think of the children

The Home Hub will make life easier for families too, pulling together shared appointments and documents so you always know who's got football practice and where the minutes from the last family meeting have got to.

Unlike the Echo and Google Home, Microsoft's Home Hub feature will have the benefit of a screen on whichever Windows 10 devices you've got set up. Special interfaces showing family info at a glance are in the works, Windows Central says.

While Microsoft won't make a dedicated device, other manufacturers might, sources say. Keep your eyes peeled for the next Windows update for more details - and we'll see if Microsoft's Echo competitor goes live before the one Apple is planning.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.