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Microsoft reportedly working on a Chromecast-like streaming device

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Making a cheap video streaming stick has worked out pretty well for Google; the $35 Chromecast is still perched at the top of Amazon's electronics best-seller list. Now it seems Microsoft may be making its own play to build a similar device tailored for Windows users, according to recent FCC filings. Windows Phone Daily spotted documents that indicate Microsoft's upcoming streamer will feature Wi-Fi, HDMI compatibility, and a USB port — so the hardware sounds not unlike Chromecast (or any other set-top box for that matter).

Obviously Microsoft won't be using Google's Cast technology to stream video on your TV; instead, a separate filing at the Wi-Fi Alliance website tells us that the device instead takes advantage of Miracast to beam content from a Windows Phone or Windows laptop to larger screens. As Gigaom points out, Miracast isn't quite as flexible as Google Cast in some ways. Namely, it's not as friendly to multiple people in the same living room sharing control over what's being played on the TV. But other essentials like mirroring of your smartphone or laptop display are certainly possible with Miracast, so Microsoft could still manage to deliver a very compelling product — especially if it decides to challenge Google's already-low pricing.

Update: images of Microsoft's Miracast dongle appeared earlier this year with the Surface branding.

Surface miracast