MICROSOFT LOOKS to be preparing its own version of Apple's AirPods in time for the next big handset launch.
The company's reinvention under Satya Nadella has brought us many things, some good, some bad, but one of the words that keep coming back is 'cuckold'.
After the failure of its Windows Phone OS, the company threw everything into making Android its mobile system of choice, resulting in what we lovingly refer to as the 'chestburster' apps.
Now, it appears that Redmond is turning its attention to the hardware side of invading the nest, with its own version of AirPods, aimed squarely at offering Apple users an alternative.
'Sources' (don't you just love 'sources'?) speaking to Thurrott say that the pods are currently in testing under the codename 'Morrison', but are likely to be called 'Surface Buds' or similar. That name is far from confirmed but is being informally used within Microsoft.
It's not the company's first go at headphones, but the last ones were huge over-the-ear jobbies that retail at $349 and didn't particularly set the market on fire, but it's early days. Then, of course, there's the Zune, Microsoft's answer to iPod which failed like… well, Windows 8, actually.
These, on the other hand, are true-wireless buds, possibly without the weird stick things sticking out of them, but definitely aimed at being "best in class", a proud boast that would put them on a par with the aforementioned AirPods, or at least with their target audience.
Integration with Cortana is expected, which is an immediate turn-off, and the company is looking at ways to make the earbuds and handset work more smoothly together. Probably using Bing.
So when do we think we're going to see these lovely earbuds? The short answer is, nobody knows. It seems likely that they'll try and get them out in 2019, but they're a ‘nice to have' rather than a core product so it's possible this timeline will slip like a badly fitting pair of earbuds.
Meanwhile, Amazon is already working on a similar product with Alexa integration and we have little doubt that Google has something up its sleeve too. μ
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