Microsoft and Intel are collaborating to build smarter PCs, dubbed “Project Evo”

For the tech industry, collaboration isn’t something rare; the multinational giants often come together to work on standardized technologies that could help the industry grow; unless you are Apple, you follow standards for the benefit of your consumers, and for extended compatibility with the rest of the industry.

Microsoft and Intel are working on Project Evo – a partnership to bring a ‘new wave of modern PCs’ that are smarter than the ones you have gotten used to.

The two companies are going to allegedely transform the PC industry in 2017, with technological improvements that would “raise the bar for what to expect from a PC.” Quite bold words there, but they might not be empty.

The two companies have been working on a few technologies that would help improve several Microsoft features like Cortana, Windows Hello, and Windows 10 itself.

Cortana gets smarter

Intel has been working with Microsoft on something called “far-field communication and voice activation” – basically, you will soon be able to talk to Cortana from across the room; the feature sounds extremely useful for the rumored HomeHub – helping Microsoft compete with Google Home and Amazon Echo.

The second part is even more important – voice activation; Cortana will be able to listen to you, even when your PC is sleeping; allowing you to wake up the PC with your voice.

The collaboration involves software improvements from Microsoft, while hardware and microphone implementations from Intel – if this works out, it could turn every modern Windows 10 PC into a hub… for your home.

Improved security capabilities

A few years ago, Microsoft collaborated with Intel to improve the facial recognition capabilities of certain PCs with Intel’s RealSense cameras. Of course, that paid off – Windows Hello works well enough to replace a password somewhat – but there’s more coming in 2017.

Project Evo will bring even more improvements to the recognition technology for Windows Hello, as well as support for other features like Microsoft’s Intelligent Security Graph integration and a new analytics and security intelligence system from Intel. Quite fascinating.

Mixed Reality & Gaming

Windows Holographic will be supported on 6th and 7th generation Intel Core processors from the get-go, and add support for Intel HD Graphics by the end of 2017.

That’s, of course, good news for the folks who were eyeing on the upcoming VR-mainstream revolution that Microsoft has in the works. Affordable VR, that’s not too shabby.

There’s also plentiful of improvements in the pipeline for PC Gamers – 4K with HDR, support for Wide Colour Gamut, spatial audio, and native Bluetooth support for Xbox One controllers.

The Future

Project Evo looks at the future and makes sure it benefits both companies – Microsoft and Intel dominate their respective businesses, a partnership among them would only help them maintain their dominance for the future.

Is the dominance bad? For now, it works out – consumers get features like the rumored HomeHub, while the Intel keeps churning out its latest generation CPUs; business as usual.


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