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Meet the $79 ‘Chromecast Killer’ From Microsoft

No Killer, All Filler: Meet the $79 Chromecast rival that isn't

Microsoft and Nokia have unveiled a new media streaming gadget, one the press is pitching as a potential ‘Chromecast Killer’.

‘…It’s barely in a position to threaten, much less kill, the Chromecast.’

Meet the “Microsoft Screen Sharing for Lumia Phones HD-10” (no, really. That’s what it is called). The small gadget connects via HDMI and micro-USB (like the Chromecast) to a big screen TV.

“Simply tap your NFC-enabled Lumia against it and it’s instantly connected,” explains Nokia in a press release accompanying the product announcement at this week’s IFA 

microsoft screen sharing chromecast thing

Windows Phone users can then wirelessly beam content from select Lumia handsets to the big screen, fuss free.

In fact, anything that can be viewed on a Windows Phone screen can be mirrored on a TV — be it videos, Xbox games, photos or office documents.

No Killer, All Filler

Aimed at Lumia smartphones with screen projection support and NFC, the device should, in theory, also support other Wi-Fi certified Miracast devices (providing they can pair up) on other operating systems.

But is it a Chromecast killer? I don’t think so. In fact, it’s barely in a position to threaten, much less kill Google’s versatile media stick.

Chromecast can display content beamed from desktop apps, from mobile apps on iOS and Android, and from any Chrome web browser. Even the latest nightly builds of Firefox for Android support casting of select content. Its flexibility and wide ranging support is key.

Despite the press trumpeting, Microsoft’s attempt is best viewed as an ‘add-on’ accessory for Windows Phone users rather than a compelling lure for those outside the ecosystem.

The ‘Microsoft Screen Sharing for Lumia Phones HD-10’ devices goes on sale in black and white versions later this month priced at $79.

  • Timothy Anderson

    That’s the best they can do? It’s obtrusive, not small. It does little, not everything. It works with Windows Phones, not iOS, Android, PCs, Tablets, Chromebooks. Is there really a market for it?

    • googoolo

      It will sell in hundreds unit each month. And will be deemed as failure as kin, bob & wp.

      • Mathew Brunning

        Windows phone isn’t a failure yet!

        • googoolo

          It’s already considered failure. Sold only a couple million with heavy ads+subsidize. And only sold when price lowered to $50. When the price is not clearance sale price, no one want to touch it.

          • Mathew Brunning

            My troll alarm is going off… Windows phone penny full of ads nor is it subsidized. Many people buy them at full price. It’s not android but it is quite nice.

          • googoolo

            LoL. Maybe you think WP is nice. I used to buy only Nokia, and lumia 800 was my last Nokia, and i used it only for 3 months. WP is the worst OS compared to others. The UI/UX is just a plain ugly and boring. The support… Microsoft loves to their their customer in garbage bin. I don’t know where you live but Nokia ended up selling lots of Nokia lumia 800 aroid $120-150 to attract customer because at the original price only a small number Nokia addict (like me) want it.

          • Mathew Brunning

            That’s opinion, apple is the only one with any real support for customers, they sell at full price or lowered. They’re great phones especially if you want to listen to music. The rest is years behind I admit but windows phone isn’t out until Microsoft gives it the axe

    • Heimen Stoffels

      It works with Windows tablets as well and support for other devices will be coming next year. Please, don’t comment if you don’t take the time to watch the entire announcement instead of going by this announcement right here.

  • mtmjr90

    As a Lumia owner, I have been and will continue to be ignored by Google. I own and frequently use a Chromecast and Chrome is my browser. I love using screen mirroring and YouTube play queues. What I don’t love is the utter lack of Cast options on my Lumia. I often want to cast content from my phone and now I’ll have that ability.
    So, is it a Chromecast killer? Not for me until it supports PC mirroring. Is it to be dismissed in such a way that your article implies? For me, definitely not.

    • Mathew Brunning

      Google isn’t ignoring you, Microsoft refuses to work with Google and broke their tos in the past. Instead of trying to work with Chromecast they made their own failure of a device.

    • mjmoon29

      It’s Microsoft that’s ignoring you, not Google. Here is your opportunity to pay double to Microsoft to get some of the functionality you want. Sorry if the tone is condescending but it’s what your product support system is offering you.

      MS is becoming a reactionary, me too company and they wonder why their market share is slipping.

      • Heimen Stoffels

        And not only MS. What about that FF thing that’s supposed to compete with the Chromecast? Everyone’s trying to duplicate Google lol.

        But I don’t see how MS is ignoring Lumia owners in terms of Chromecast. Everyone is, basically. Where’s Chromecast on BB10? There’s an unofficial app, but no official app. Where’s Chromecast on SailfishOS? And FirefoxOS? And Tizen?

        • googoolo

          Where is microsoft office for linux? Why Microsoft didn’t support Linux? See my point? Google didn’t support WP & BB10 because it lacks user. BB10 only have around 3-4 million user, WP only have 30 million (use it as feature phone) user. Google is smart and concentrating their R&D on the biggest platform

          • Heimen Stoffels

            MS Office for Linux: agreed.

            But you’re seriously underestimating BB10. 3-4 million? Much more than that, esp. now that even governments are switching to BB10. But yes, small in comparison to other platforms. But don’t forget that a lot of BB10 users are enterprise users. Google could garner some real interest there in enterprise.

          • googoolo

            You were thinking just because it has millions of users it must be a success. BB might sells 4 millions device, but that doesn’t mean all being use equally. I personally know several friends that bought it and then use it a couple of months and then put it on the drawer or resell it. Are you expecting all the bb10 user were corporate? LOL.

            Google is smart not to develop for bb10. Bb10 might be dead very soon with that number of user. As of now bb didn’t pursue native apps for bb again but aiming for android compatiblelity. They close the department that responsible for accepting third party apps recently.

            The new bb ceo, John Chen recently said in order bb10 to survive it needs to sells 2.5 millions device per quarter (10 millions device per year). But in the last quarter alone they only sold 1.6 millions bb7+bb10 device. Go figure….

          • Heimen Stoffels

            They will sell more this quarter because the German government is switching to BB10. So you call them stupid for making that move because BB is nearly dead? Ouch. My mum has a Z30 and she loves it to death. Sure, your friends may resell it after a couple of months. But I know people who sell Android phones after a few months as well. Doesn’t say much. BB has been pushing native apps, like the new Flight app and Connect to OneDrive.

            I didn’t say all BB10 users are corporate users. My mum is no corporate user. I just said that BB is very active there and a good amount of BB10 users is corporate.

          • googoolo

            The most important is not your word or my word but the sales number, and the number didn’t favor bb at this moment. The ‘active’ word you use is just the new bb ceo making noise, but the sales number didn’t favor the new BB CEO big mouth.

    • On initial inspection, I find the device to be simply comical. Dismissing it as the joke it is seems perfectly reasonable to me. Even the name looks as if it’s intended to elicit chuckles.

      Objectively speaking, it’s not even technically for the same use model as the Chromecast, so context is already going to be shifted when you’re comparing the two. Neither really does what the other is intended to do.

  • FirstLine

    It’s not what I imagined. But the pairing setup is a lot simpler than with the Chromecast. It’s just that it’s another stuff that is hanging out of the TV. As a minimalist, I prefer the stick approach from Google. Also will it work with Windows tablets that has NFC built in? It would be a shame if it didn’t.

    • John

      You’re wrong. There is NO PAIRING in Chromecast. There is initial setup but after doing that any device in WiFi network is able to play to Chromecast.

  • Mike

    Chromecast’s main function is to directly stream online content from cast ready apps. How can anything which simply mirrors a phone, tying it up and eating its battery, be a chromecast killer? And for 3 times the price!

    • Heimen Stoffels

      Agreed, except for the price. Remember that with the Chromecast you’ll only get the Chromecast. You still have to carry a separate phone around. This thing is all in one.

      • Mike

        All in one? Tell me, what exactly does it do without a phone?

    • Heimen Stoffels

      Battery eating will not be as much as you may thing. Chromecast is probably better, esp. price-wise, but this thing can do more than just stream online content as you can basically do everything you normally do on your smartphone. Tell me how I can play a game on Chromecast? Oh wait, I can’t. With this I can. Not that I want a Windows Phone, but I like the idea.
      Maybe it doesn’t kill the Chromecast, but it’s gonna compete seriously.

      Oh well, it’s MS hate hour at OMG! Chrome. Didn’t know the ancient rivalry was still there.

      • Mike

        And gaming doesn’t eat battery? OK.

        • Heimen Stoffels

          That was just one example. Besides: you can always charge your phone while playing. Still enables you to do more than the Chromecast. I’m not saying this thing is better per se, just that you can do more with it.

          • Mike

            And more wires? I can set my CC streaming, then turn my phone off, or chuck it out of the window if I want. If this thing does more, it should. How else can they justify 3 times the price for it? That means it’s different. Different doesn’t mean better. For anyone who wants to simply add discrete streaming to a TV, initiated via android/iOS, and PC/Mac/Chromebook, CC is unbeatable at the price. And when it’s obsolete due to android TV or whatever, it’s not betamax money.

          • bleached

            What can this do that Chromecast cannot? Chromecast is compatible with more phones when it comes to mirroring and you don’t have to mirror for it to be functional. Chromecast is much more functional than this.

      • sonicyoof

        Even the people at WP Daily are questioning the “Chromecast Killer” status.

      • mjmoon29

        It’s not MS hate hour, it’s the now steady roll out of MS products badged as the “chromeXXXX killer”. Since the site is OMG! Chrome! I’d think the majority of readers would get their back up with advertising tags like that. It’s just a marketing tactic that’s not unlike posting a clearly trolling comment on a website.

      • brandon

        Nexus 4
        Nexus 5
        Nexus 7 (2013)
        Nexus 10
        Samsung Galaxy S4
        Samsung Galaxy S4 (Google Play Edition)
        Samsung Galaxy S5
        Samsung Galaxy Note 3
        Samsung Galaxy Note 10
        HTC One M7
        HTC One M7 (Google Play Edition)
        LG G3
        LG G2
        LG G Pro 2
        All these devices can cast their screen to a Chromecast right now and more devices are being added as we speak. If Microsoft wants this device to sell they need to drop the price and make it compatible with any phone with NFC. Then it would actually be competition to a Chromecast.

        • Heimen Stoffels

          What’s up with the price? If Apple sold it at $79, no one would’ve complained in the first place.

          But still: IMHO Chromecast is good and this device from MS isn’t per se better, but you can do more with this thing than with a Chromecast, even if it’s limited to only a handful of devices.

          • Stop embarrassing yourself, mate. Your first point was “how can I play a game..” – you can. Now you’re shifting to the price (everyone outside the Apple camp _does_ notice their obscene pricing) and saying you can do more with this than with a Chromecast – you can’t.

          • Heimen Stoffels

            Or you should stop embarrassing yourself. Why can’t someone be less hateful about this device? Why does everyone have to love the Chromecast and hate everything else that’s trying to compete with it? I’m not bashing the Chromecast, I said it’s a good device. Therefore, I respect Chromecast owners opinions. Would be nice if my opinion about this MS thing could be respected as well.

          • You’re entitled to have the opinion that the world is triangle-shaped for all I care, mate :) Like the Microsoft Screen Sharing for Lumia etc. Prefer it. I reeeeally don’t give a f*ck and I totally respect your preference! You don’t even have to defend it. But if you do, use honets points and comparisons, not wrong ones ;)

          • pixelstuff

            What exactly is your opinion of it? Aside from high compatibility with a few Windows phones, NFC pairing, and a name we can make fun of, the Microsoft Microsoft Screen Sharing for Lumia Phones HD-10 has less features and cost more than a Chromecast.

            Just having an opinion about things isn’t respectable in and of itself.

          • Sean Fleming

            buuuuut you can cast your screen to chromecast too. . .

          • Sean Fleming

            like really. I did it last night. . .twice

  • Ernst Blowfelt

    So i have to walk over to the TV to pair with it …… FAIL

    • Maybe, you only have to pair it once? It’s not that clear from the article. Though, of course, this device is not looking like something promising.

    • bmlsayshi

      No, you have to walk to the device to pair it. Nobody said that device has to be next to the TV, just plugged in via HDMI. For all you know that device is 40′ away from the TV.

    • Jon Procter

      Nah, it comes with a little NFC card (at the conference Microsoft said it was a ‘cup coaster’ but idk I can’t see anyone using it for that) and that can be put anywhere you want it to be.

  • CrazyDelta

    Man, those guys at Microsoft. Such jokers. Nice one.

  • Brian

    Anyone remember the Nexus Q?

    • Omar Naveed

      It was delayed cause it was expensive for a start and had limited functionalities.

    • bleached

      Yeah. Google ended up removing the amplifier and selling it for $35. They have sold millions of them.

  • hairyback

    yes because the 90 something percent of people without a windows phone are going to rush out and buy a lumia and Microsoft Screen Sharing for Lumia Phones HD-10, just because.

  • Will S.

    This is what I dislike most about Microsoft. They come into markets not because they have a solution to a problem but because someone else is doing it successfully and they want some of that pie, so they rush out half baked products just to have a horse in the race.

  • LiamTHX

    Or… you could just not try to show people charts on your 4.5″ phone?

  • sonicyoof

    I’m replying to your comment that it’s “MS hate hour here.”

  • “$79 Chromecast Killer”
    Of course. Of course that makes sense. Of course it’s not already dead.

  • redbarbvs

    Not really a “Chromecast Killer” if it’s only available to Lumia phones.

  • asskicker

    Are you guys completely ignorant or just plain dumb?? You can use ALL devices that support Miracast. And yes, almost all higher end Android phones are Miracast enabled. You use a laptop with Windows 8? Great, just open the right charm, open “Devices” and select the HD-10.

  • DeftPon3

    I absolutely LOVE my windows phone. I would definitely consider buying this. Is it a Chromecast Killer? No. Is it a simple, elegant solution for streaming my phone’s screen to a TV? Yes!

  • MrMiketheripper

    Good god I wish Microsoft would stop coming up with such long names

  • Derik Taylor

    You know, given the mixed info in a lot of the comments, here is something to help.

  • UralBas

    Microsoft OS is being pushed onto third world countries. Users don’t know any better and end up buying a windows phone with prepaid contacts which include them for “free”.

    Most don’t even know that Cortana (Windows only acceptable feature) is available with a long press on the search button.

    Then when they need to multi-task, frustration sets in. And the smile of the new phone starts to fade away. Next are subtle issues that are one touch away on Android and sometimes iOS. In Windows, these are a few layers deep starting to swype from the left. Within a couple weeks, most go back to their GS3 or older handset than than with the frustration Windows phone provide.

    Then again, to each their own. I’ll try them, though would never use one as a primary phone, it’s simply too limiting with out real multitasking.

    Now Chromecast at 35 of a new…. MS product at more than twice the price is simply not an option. In my case, it’s not even worth a try.