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Microsoft and Mozilla are lining up to challenge Google Chromecast

The two companies are releasing their own streaming dongles, which aim to capitalise upon the success of Google’s own device.

Image: Matchstick/Kickstarter

GOOGLE’S HIT UPON a great idea when it released Chromecast, its dongle which allows users to stream online video, photos and music onto their TVs, and its success has led to other companies releasing their own versions.

The first one came from the streaming player service Roku which released its own dongle earlier this year, but now Microsoft has jumped into the fray with its Wireless Display Adaptor (no really, that’s the name).

It shares a number of similarities with Chromecast: it allows you to stream something you’re viewing on your laptop, smartphone or tablet on your TV (or projectors) and it’s a USB.

However, the major difference is it relies on Miracast, which uses WiFi Direct to stream footage. This means that it works in areas where web connectivity is poor or non-existent and streaming isn’t limited to certain apps.

The other difference is the price. At $59.95 (€47.50), it’s a little bit more expensive than Chromecast which may put some people off.

Source: msfthardware/YouTube

The latest competitor to enter the market is MatchStick which runs on Firefox OS. The HDMI stick is not being designed by Mozilla, but a separate company called Matchstick.tv, and is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for it.

It has already reached its goal of $100,000 with 29 days to spare, and the team expects to start shipping the device in the first few months of 2015 with a retail price of $25 (€19.80).

While it will start off with a core selection of apps, the team behind it hope that as the developer community grows, the device will see apps which will offer new experiences and content.

07b939f1817e1edb8b80123fdaccd34c_large Source: MatchStick/Kickstarter

The only major drawback is their availability. Microsoft’s device is only available for pre–order in the US and Canada, while the MatchStick is still a work in progress. Considering how long it took Chromecast to officially arrive over here, we could be waiting a while before either one arrives.

Read: Microsoft decides to skip 9 and instead unveils Windows 10 >

Read: Netflix is going to be releasing its first original movie next year… >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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