There have been rumors circulating for a while about Microsoft making its own Echo-like speaker. With the company stepping back from marketing Cortana as a standalone assistant, many believed Microsoft wouldn't launch such a device. But a new patent filing shows the company may still be interested in making its own speaker, but likely as part of its Teams and corporate collaboration strategy.
Microsoft filed an application for a portable speaker patent in August 2017. That patent just became public today, as noted by The Verge, which saw information about it via Windows United. The device looks similar to Google's Home Mini in size and materials. A couple of the inventors listed in the filing work for Microsoft's a design manager for Teams devices and Dustin Brown is with the company's envisioning labs division, as The Verge noted.
The usual disclaimer: A patent application does not indicate that a company is going to produce any type of product based on the said patent. But if it moves ahead with this speaker, Microsoft could opt to introduce it as part of its fall hardware launch on October 2.
Unsurprisingly, Microsoft isn't commenting on what it plans to do, if anything, with the portable speaker patent or any other unannounced hardware. "We don't comment on our product roadmap," a spokesperson said.