Microsoft reportedly developing Chromecast rival: a Miracast dongle

Analysts can predict a decline in Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Chromecast usage all they want, but its users are a fairly loyal bunch. And it appears that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) may be going after that customer base with its own dongle, reportedly called the Miracast Dongle but currently code-named HD-10 in an FCC filing.

Miracast WiFi Alliance promo

Detail from a Wi-Fi Alliance video promoting Miracast technology at CES 2013.

The filing details a device that has HDMI support, Wi-Fi and a USB connection, engadget reports.

A separate document found on the Wi-Fi Alliance website by the Nokia Power User blog reportedly divulged the HD-10's name as the "Miracast Dongle."

Miracast, of course, is Microsoft's screen-sharing technology for Window 8.1, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8.1, and Android 4.2 and Blackberry 10.2.1 operating systems. That has tech sites like engadget speculating that the HD-10 (FCC ID: PYAHD-10) will be able to mirror whatever is on a device's screen on the user's television.

"Unlike Chromecast's technology, though, Miracast can only show what's on the source device's screen à la Mac OS X's Airplay Mirroring, meaning you can't play mobile games while you're casting a show on TV," engadget's Mariella Moon wrote.

Adding a dongle to its list of Miracast-enabled devices could be a savvy play for Microsoft. In an increasingly crowded streaming device market, focusing on a single key feature like screen sharing could help it gain a solid foothold against established players like Roku. Further, Miracast technology isn't exactly untested, since it's available on Microsoft's current operating systems and Android. For example, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Fire Phone users use the technology in its Second Screen app to fling video from the smartphone to the Fire TV or another Miracast-enabled device. And Belkin has been marketing a Miracast dongle since early this year, debuting at $80, though reviews are mixed.

No word on a release date for the device or pricing information. However, NPU speculated that Microsoft will announce the device on Sept. 4 at IFA 2014 in Berlin, along with the anticipated Lumia 730 and 830 smartphone announcements.

Microsoft HD-10 test system config

A test system configuration diagram for the HD-10. (Source: FCC / Microsoft)

For more:
- engadget has this story
- NPU has this article

Related articles:
PlayStation TV, Android TV crowd into streaming-device market
Connected TV devices in U.S. to double by 2017, study says
Amazon Fire smartphone gives users access to more TV
Chromecast usage dips, sales flatten out, report says

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