Look who is building a streaming dongle now: Microsoft is getting ready to launch its very own Chromecast competitor, according documents filed with the FCC that were unearthed by Windowsphonedaily this week. The FCC application for the device with the model number HD-10 is heavily redacted and doesn’t actually spell out what it can be used for, only revealing that it comes with a HDMI port, Wi-Fi and a USB connection for power supply.
However, a blogger at Nokiapoweruser was able to add a piece to the puzzle by querying the Wi-Fi Alliance product database, which describes the HD-10 as a Miracast dongle. This means that the device can be used to mirror a user’s mobile or desktop screen to the TV.
However, Miracast doesn’t come with any of the advanced multi-screen features that are offered by Google’s Cast protocol, including the ability to queue up media from multiple participants at the same time, or play multiplayer games. Another key difference is that Miracast is based on streaming media directly, in a P2P-like fashion, from the sender device to the receiver, whereas Google Cast merely points the receiver to a media resource that can be hosted in the cloud.
Still, it’s interesting that Microsoft would add such a dongle to its device line-up. Building its own streaming dongle could help the company to bring screen mirroring to Windows phones and Windows 8 apps, which have thus far been ignored by others. Google only offers its Cast SDK for Android, iOS and web apps, and Apple only offers AirPlay for iOS and OS X devices.