Microsoft reveals pre-order details for its beautiful, pricey Cortana thermostat

(Image credit: Johnson Controls)

Last summer Microsoft announced a beautiful Cortana-powered thermostat that looked like something out of a tasteful science fiction film, and now, at last, we have some more details about it.

The device, made through a partnership with Johnson Controls, will be available for pre-order for $319 (around £235/AU$406) beginning in March. That's a steep price even in the context of smart thermostats from rivals like the Nest Learning thermostat, which costs $249/£279 (around AU$317), but in this case looks are every bit as part of the appeal as function.

By far the most striking thing about GLAS is the translucent glass display that gives it its name, but it's also packed with a host of features (that, mind you, tend to be common with smart thermostats).

You can set the temperature, of course, but you can also use the device the check the outdoor weather, ask about traffic conditions or check your calendar. It'll also automatically adjust the temperature according to your usual preferences throughout the day.

Again, it's powered by Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant, so you can do all this with voice commands if you wish. It's also compatible with virtually all types of 24VAC heating and cooling systems, so you should be able to install it in your home or office with few complications.

If you're interested in more pre-order information, you can sign up for Johnson Controls' GLAS mailing list here. It appears the thermostat will be available in the US, UK and Australia.