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Surface Speaker: Everything we know about Microsoft’s rumoured smart speaker

As Microsoft’s October hardware event draws closer, it looks like the presentation has been leaked ahead of time, but there was no sign of the portable wireless speaker that’s been dubbed the Surface speaker.

Little is known about the speaker, which cropped up in a patent listing made public early in September. According to The Verge, Microsoft has been “prototyping portable speakers and microphones that can improve meetings”, with the heavy assumption that this speaker is aimed at the business sector rather than consumer market.

Here’s what we’ve gleaned so far about Microsoft’s mysterious portable speaker.

Surface Speaker design and features — What does it look like?

In images uncovered by German tech site Windows United from the patent listing, the Surface speaker looks very similar to the Google Home Mini speaker.

The patent images point to a circular speaker, with large volume buttons and a fabric woven around the top in a similar fashion to the Home Mini. Interestingly, the speaker seems to be sitting in some sort of pan-shaped base that could be a charging element.

Microsoft Surface Speaker

Credit: Windows United

There are also what looks like phone logos on top the unit, likely accept/end call and mute buttons, which further affirms the speaker’s business aspirations.

What else? The patent doesn’t go into detail on any features, Bluetooth profiles, connections etc, so we’re not left with much to go on. We’re absolutely certain that it’ll have Microsoft’s digital assistant in Cortana onboard, though.

Related: Google Home Mini review

Surface Speaker price — How much does it cost?

There’s so little known about this product that anything about the price would be a guess. Based on our assumption that it looks and is probably around the same size as the Google Home Mini, we’re thinking it’ll be relatively inexpensive. The Google Home Mini sells for £50 RRP and you can find it for much less than that.

But if this is aimed at businesses, perhaps it’ll incur a steeper price? We’ll find out if it’s announced at the Surface hardware event in New York.

Surface Speaker release date — When is it coming out?

Likely within 2019. Based on last year’s event when Microsoft surprised everyone with the Surface Headphones, they went on sale not long after their unveiling (November).

If Microsoft is intent on bringing the Surface Speaker to the market, sooner rather than later would make sense.

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