This week Microsoft announced their Black Friday shopping line up which makes several of the companies hardware offerings available at some very solid discounts.
The best part is that the offers are being made available through the Microsoft Store both online and in their physical locations.
Among some of the deals you can find is an Xbox One S at $189, Windows Mixed Reality headsets with up to a $100 discount, and a Surface Laptop that includes the recently released Harman Kardon Invoke that you can save nearly $200. That basically makes the Invoke free with the Surface Laptop purchase.
However, if you are not in the market for a new laptop then be sure to check out the special deal they are offering on the Harman Kardon Invoke because at a $100 discount this is the deal of Microsoft’s Black Friday week in my opinion. The Invoke will be available at this price from 23 to 27 November.
I mentioned this on a recent episode of Observed Tech but I have been using an Invoke speaker with Cortana since late July as part of the private beta test for their hardware and service. As a result of having this speaker in my home office over these four months I am actually using Cortana more often and that is not just for playing music either. I find myself scheduling more reminders, meetings, and creating lists than I did before with Cortana on all of the Windows 10 devices that are around the office.
On top of that, the Invoke is a very well built piece of hardware. It has great sound and unique features like the lighted top that indicates various statuses when interacting with Cortana, a metal ring around the top of the device for controlling the volume, and the tip of the device is touch aware so you can cancel any current activities and interactions when necessary.
The Invoke, specifically the built in Cortana digital assistant, does lack a large library of third party skills. Several weeks ago we learned that Cortana and Alexa will become close friends and share skills libraries. This will be a huge bump for Cortana because Alexa has a very large and robust library of third party skills. Between Cortana’s productivity chops for Outlook and Office 365 plus Alexa’s Connected Home capabilities and many other options whether you have an Amazon Echo or the Invoke will not make a difference since they will be collaborating on skills.
For $99 the Harman Kardon Invoke is a great deal and I highly recommend it for any room in your house.