Google’s Chromecast saw a level of success that’s not easily achievable for any gadget. The device still holds a listing at the top of Amazon’s best seller in electronics, and rightly so – the low costing streaming dongle has a wonderful feature set to offer at a highly attractive price tag. There hasn’t been any direct competitor to the Chromecast yet, but it appears that Microsoft finally might be upping its game. The software company might be entering the arena with a similar device aimed at users of the Windows ecosystem, according to some recent FCC filings.
The regulatory filing hints that Microsoft’s upcoming streaming dongle will feature Wi-Fi, HDMI compatibility, and USB connectivity, making it alarmingly similar to Chromecast (we certainly hope not to see another patent dispute that will drag on for months). However, just the features don’t make it a final word; any set top box, for that matter, carries a similar feature label.
From the technological perspective, we’re positive that Microsoft will not be aiming to use Google’s Cast technology to stream video and content. A separate filing made to the Wi-Fi Alliance shows that Microsoft will be going the Miracast route for achieving the streaming dongle’s purposes. The filing also indicates that this new dongle will have screen mirroring natively available as well, which we expect to work better than Chromecast’s, which has just been able to recently introduce this for Android devices (in a very limited number).
Generally, Miracast is a more powerful protocol for this purpose compared to Google Cast technology, because it offers more features. Granted, Miracast does not perform the same Internet streaming that Chromecast can do, but it largely depends on what your aim for having such a device is; do you want to have an internet streaming dongle for your TV, or something that can wirelessly extend and mirror your display. We’re speculating right now, but it might be that Google’s offering will stay the better choice for the streaming content from the Internet, while Microsoft will reign the other arena.
We’re sure we’ll hear more about Microsoft’s plans in the days to come, but in the meantime, we want you to share your thoughts with us whether or not Microsoft should make such a dongle.