Ambient OS-powered Essential Home goes after Amazon Echo with exciting promises and a privacy focus

What exactly are the Essential Home and Ambient OS? Many key details remain under wraps, but they’re supposed to change the smart home experience.

Microsoft signs HP and Intel to help with Cortana devices, AI’s Skills Kit now open to more devs

Forget the Surface Pro 5 or Windows phones. Microsoft seems fully committed to make Cortana its next big thing, with public skills and HP devices.

Microsoft HomeHub should soon tackle Amazon Echo devices head-on as part of Windows 10

Microsoft HomeHub is the rumored name of an upcoming software initiative baked into the next Windows 10 update to turn any PC into an Echo “killer.”

Apple’s Phil Schiller brushes off Amazon Echo and Google Home, hinting at Siri-based rival with a screen

He doesn’t come out and say it, but Apple’s SVP of Marketing finds the Amazon Echo and Google Home useless, with something better in the pipeline.

Google Assistant on (certain) Pixel phones gains native home control

If you’re one of the lucky few Pixel users offered early access to a new Google Assistant feature, you don’t need anything else to control your smart home.