Microsoft introduced a device to show, on TV, on the Internet or stored on portable device content, appealing to a wireless adapter. In this it resembles Chromecast, Google antenna to reproduce, in a TV, videos and photos that are online.
As Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick and other similar devices, Wireless Display Adapter is plugged into the USB ports and HDMI TV; the first to send the video and audio signal, the second for energy to operate.
But the Microsoft WDA uses a standard for sharing information, called Miracast, which is now available in a large number of devices such as cell phones, tablets and laptops (obviously if your TV already has Miracast Microsoft device is unnecessary). And it was intended precisely to send information from a smartphone or tablet to a large screen using a Wi-Fi (does not require devices to access Internet). It is the successor of another wireless standard, DLNA.
Chromecast initially served to play online content using a smartphone remote control (Netflix, Youtube, etc.) but now also replicates in the TV screen which shows the Chrome browser or what is on the screen of your tablet or phone; that of Microsoft can show things that are stored locally, and can be any kind of content, because the device manages sending audio and video. Thus, you can watch movies, news apps, documents, presentations and so on.
Microsoft adapter is also multiplatform: it is enough that the device that sends the signal supports Miracast. Microsoft has a guide to submitting content via Miracast from Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8; Google also explains how to do it on Android. The BlackBerry Z30 and Q10 are also supported.
Microsoft will sell the adapter for $60 in the United States.