Apple went to great lengths to make its AirPods wireless Bluetooth earbuds stand out, building their own wireless chips allowing seamless syncing with Apple products. This is a continuation of a surprising new hardware area for Microsoft, following the release a year ago of the $350 Surface Headphones.
In contrast, according to Bloomberg, Apple is reportedly developing its own pair of over-the-ear headphones with Apple branding as opposed to Beats, expected to launch this year.
It's not year clear how Microsoft intends to differentiate its earbuds from others that are now available from competitors. Dubbed "Surface Buds", these new earphones from Microsoft are much smaller than the Surface Headphones, making them much more ideal for travel. Do you think Microsoft will bring these Surface Buds to the market? They will feature built-in support for Microsoft's Cortana personal assistant and noise-cancellation tech, as well as a way of improving interactions "between a phone and the earbuds to make reading content easier on the phone".
Microsoft also isn't the only tech giant looking to take on Apple. These features would include active noise cancellation, Cortana integration, answering questions and controlling music, and great battery life, though nothing has been concretely mentioned.
Microsoft's just one of many company's jumping on the "true wireless" train. Sams says Microsoft's Surface Buds could launch in 2019, but cautions that it's "not guaranteed".