Microsoft is making available for preorder as of September 23 a wireless adapter for devices running Windows 8.1 and Android 4.2.1 (and later).
The wireless adapter -- Microsoft's competitor to Google's $35 Chromecast dongle -- costs $59.95 (manufacturer's suggested retail price) and will be available in October 2014.
The coming adapter connects to an HDTV, monitor or projector and allows users to share audio and visual content from Miracast-enabled devices, such as Microsoft Surfaces, within a 23-foot range. The adapter is not compatible with Surface RT, according to Microsoft's details page about the new device. But it can be used to project from Windows Phone running version 8.1 of the Windows Phone OS to a large-screen device.
Initially, the adapter will be available via Microsoft's online and brick-and-mortar stores, as well as via Best Buy, officials said. No word so far on distribution plans beyond that.
Microsoft's FCC filing for the wireless adapter back in March of this year kicked off speculation as to when and how the company would deliver such a device.
Update: I asked Microsoft officials what they see as the differences between Chromecast and the new Microsoft wireless adapter (besides the price tag). The short answer: While Chromecast now supports mirroring from Android devices, the Microsoft adapter does mirroring of both Android and Windows devices. Microsoft's adapter supports Miracast-enabled devices and Google's supports Google's own wireless protocol.