Microsoft, Samsung to launch call-capable smart speaker

  • Microsoft's (MSFT -0.3%) move into "smart speakers" is headed for launch this fall, via a device from Samsung (OTC:SSNLF).
  • The Invoke is set to launch this fall, into a market already occupied by's (AMZN +1.2%) Echo device from two years ago, and Google Home (GOOG +0.9%, GOOGL +0.9%), released last fall.
  • But the new device is set to use Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant to make phone calls, using integration with Microsoft's Skype. And its development by Samsung unit Harmon Kardon has the parent pointing to HK's heritage of audio quality.
  • Amazon and Google are considering a call feature for their products, and Apple (AAPL +2.8%) is still rumored to be working on a Siri-powered smart speaker of its own. The Amazon Echo holds about 71% market share, with Google Home taking another 24%, according to eMarketer.

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