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Microsoft unveils Windows 10 PC the size of a plug

A company in Taiwan has unveiled a computer the size of a plug that is capable of running Windows 10.

Quanta’s Compute Plug joins a growing list of compact computers, but they have largely only been capable of running lightweight operating systems such as Linux. The device is plugged in directly and has an HDMI port and two USB sockets.

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Microsoft showcased the device, alongside other upcoming Windows 10 computers, at its Computex 2015 keynote address and explained that Compute Plug can be voice controlled using the company’s virtual personal assistant.

"The new Compute plug from Quanta is a mini PC and power adapter in one that can be plugged into any outlet and connected to a TV to turn it into a smart computer that can be controlled using Cortana via a Bluetooth remote or headset."

During its keynote speech, Microsoft also demonstrated Foxconn’s Kangaroo device, which the company described as an “ultra-portable desktop PC.” The Kangaroo is powered by an Intel Cherry Trail processor and includes a fingerprint reader compatible with Windows Hello. It is also capable of turning a TV display into a full Windows 10 PC.

Although, the Raspberry Pi kick-started the rush for smaller computers, a number of companies are now developing even more compact devices with less emphasis on coding and easier utility. As well as the two Windows 10 offerings, Google’s Chromebit is capable of turning any HDMI TV into a fully-functioning computer for less than $100. Intel’s Compute Stick is a similarly sized HDMI dongle offering comparable features.

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For Microsoft, however, the portable PC market is not just about dominating consumers' TV sets and media consumption. The Redmond-based firm is also using new technology to increase uptake of its new Windows 10 operating system, with the company keen to transition consumers away from legacy systems.