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Microsoft may be lining up its own Cortana-powered smart speaker

Tyrone Stewart

Harman Kardon Invoke Microsoft CortanaMicrosoft is reportedly working on a Cortana-based smart speaker in a bid to break up Amazon and Google’s dominance within the space.

The tech giant is working with Taiwanese electronic hardware manufacturer Quanta Computer on the speaker, though the project is still in its very early stage, according to German site WinFuture.

Microsoft has already partnered with Samsung’s audio equipment maker Harman Kardon to launch the Cortana-powered Invoke device last year but now it seems it will introduce its own branded speaker to use the influence of the Microsoft name to mount a realistic challenge to Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home.

In the US, 40.7m people will use an Amazon Echo at least once a month this year – a staggering 67 per cent of all smart speaker users in the country. Meanwhile, the Google Home will have 18m users for a 29.5 per cent share of the market, so Microsoft has quite the uphill task if it does eventually release its own smart speaker.