Microsoft is Working on Chromecast-Like Dongle Called Miracast
Google’s Chromecast was a surprise hit when it was launched. And now it appears Microsoft is working on something similar for Windows Phone and probably Windows PCs.
A document filed with the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) by Microsoft has been spotted for a “Miracast Dongle” media adapter. The filing reveals that the device comes with a HDMI port, Wi-Fi and a USB connection for power supply. Miracast is a screencasting standard for connected devices over Wi-Fi Direct. Microsoft recently added Miracast support to Windows Phone via the Lumia Cyan firmware for Windows Phone 8.1.
However, Miracast doesn’t seem like a direct Chromecast competitor. It is said that the two devices work a bit differently with Chromecast pulling streaming data from the cloud while Miracast, as its name suggest, just mirrors the display. The big advantage of mirroring a display on your TV is that you don’t have to wait for developers to add Miracast support to their apps, because it’s a system-wide feature.
It is said that the new dongle would take advantage of Windows Phone 8.1’s Miracast-based Project My Screen feature to broadcast your screen to a TV. This could be used for putting anything from videos and games to presentations and photos on your living room’s big screen. Adding a dongle to support Miracast on TVs is key, because the technology has yet to see wide adoption despite being supported in the latest build of Windows.
With Microsoft expected to launch a couple of Lumia mobile devices at its upcoming IFA press event in Berlin on September 4th, we will not be surprised if Miracast also get officially unveiled at the same event. Also, we expect that device will support Windows PCs as well.
Microsoft is also planning to dispatch a Windows 8.1 PC for $199 to contend with the Chromebook. As per reports the laptop will be made by HP and will be known as the HP Stream 14. It will have a 14 inch show with 1366 x 768 pixels determination. It will be accessible in 32 GB and 64 GB variations and will weigh only 1.75 kgs.
Microsoft has recently lagged behind in offering a universally appreciated user experience. It has a lot of catching up to do. The company is still in its restructuring phase and it will be interesting to see if those massive job cuts would get Microsoft back to tech glory. Also the evolved interconnected ecosystems offered by Chrome and Android on Google’s side and OSX and iOS provided by Apple stand as a formidable opponent in the path of Microsoft. Miracast shows promise but nothing can be said until we lay our hands on the device, so keep checking out this spot.