Invoke – Outlook speaks and we get the heebie-jeebies

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Microsoft is joining the voice device market alongside Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home with the enticing possibility of making Outlook speak to you via Invoke.

Harmon Kardon will be releasing Invoke, a speaker and Cortana powered device.

Details are few at this stage however it opens up the possibility of a device that will speak to remind you of appointments setup in Outlook.

Presumably this will work best with Exchange Server powered accounts including Office 365 hosting and .


Invoke will connect with Skype, letting you make and accept voice calls without a computer or screen device. That will be a unique selling point however Google and Amazon are working on rival calling systems for their devices.


Tryouts of Alexa/Echo left me unenthusiastic, aside from the novelty value that quickly wore off.  These devices have their fans but Office Watch isn’t among them.

Privacy Heebie-Jeebies

The idea of Microsoft talking to me in the privacy of my own home gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Having to say ‘Hello Cortana’ all the time seems silly.  That should be configurable so you can say whatever you like.  “Hello Mr Bond”, “Bonjour darling” or “Hello F___wit”

Having an Internet connected microphone listening all the time. Who thinks that’s a good idea?


Harmon Kardon makes nice gear, but at a price.  Microsoft isn’t trying to compete on price with Google or Amazon.

Invoke is due for release in ‘Fall 2017’ – we assume they mean the northern season.

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