At long last, Microsoft has set a public target of bringing consumer devices—that aren t PCs—to market in 2017 with its personal digital assistant, Cortana, inside of them.

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a way to challenge Amazon s Alexa-powered Dot and Echo devices, as well as Google s Google Home.

Microsoft s New Devices SDK will allow to power a new line of connected-car speakers from Harmon Kardon in 2017, executives said, with presumably more partnerships to come.

This follows an earlier announcement that Cortana is coming to Windows 10 IoT, Microsoft's operating system for smart devices.

With the struggles of Windows Mobile, Cortana has been largely relegated to Windows 10 PCs instead of the mobile devices that users are increasingly turning to.

Microsoft really needs a flagship consumer device to show off its AI capabilities—and it sounds like it s planning on having a bunch of them.

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