Microsoft Unwraps a Chromecast Competitor
Redmond is readying the release of a Miracast-based streaming dongle that pumps mobile content to televisions.Google's popular Chromecast media dongle for HDTVs will soon be facing off against a competitor from Microsoft. Like Chromecast, the straightforwardly named Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter plugs into an HDTV, allowing users to pump videos, audio and Web content to their living room televisions. The device "will let you easily share content from any Miracast-enabled device—including many PCs and tablets running Windows 8.1," announced Microsoft spokesperson Brandon LeBlanc in a statement. Miracast is a WiFi Direct standard that supports connections between devices without the involvement of a wireless router. "Miracast is an industry-wide solution, so the technology works well across devices, regardless of brand. Connections are easy to set up and use since the devices choose the appropriate settings automatically," according to the Wi-Fi Alliance's website. Microsoft added Miracast support to Windows 8.1 last month as part of an operating system update. The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter is scheduled to go on sale in October for $59.95, but potential buyers can preorder one now. By comparison, Google's year-old Chromecast dongle, which works with Netflix, YouTube and Google Play streaming content, costs $35.
"It just automatically works," said Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of Android and Chrome, when he introduced Chromecast last year during a media event in San Francisco. Chromecast would go on to quickly sell out after it hit store shelves.