Microsoft Announces a $5 Billion Investment in IoT

Microsoft Announces a $5 Billion Investment in IoT

Microsoft announced today that it will invest $5 billion in Internet of Things (IoT) research and innovation over the next four years.

“As our world becomes more connected, IoT and the intelligent edge are playing a critical role in advancing breakthroughs in areas like healthcare, transportation, agriculture, energy and more,” a Microsoft representative told me.

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The timing here is interesting: As I noted yesterday in Windows, Diminished, Microsoft is signaling to the world that it is moving to an “intelligent cloud and intelligent edge” future in which the volume of devices on the edge will, in fact, be IoT devices. This coincides nicely with Microsoft’s pursuit of “the next wave” in the wake of its earlier defeat in mobile.

“We’re planning to dedicate even more resources to research and innovation in IoT and what is ultimately evolving to be the new intelligent edge,” Microsoft Julia White explains. “With our IoT platform spanning cloud, OS and devices, we are uniquely positioned to simplify the IoT journey so any customer—regardless of size, technical expertise, budget, industry or other factors—can create trusted, connected solutions that improve business and customer experiences, as well as the daily lives of people all over the world.”

What this looks like in concrete terms is a bit vague. Microsoft cites companies like Steelcase, Kohler, Chevron, United Technologies and Johnson Controls as being among those using Microsoft’s IoT platform in embedded products. (And many readers will recognize Johnson Controls as the maker of that cool smart thermometer.) But this platform does represent another logic step, at least, for those developers who have adopted Microsoft technologies in the past. And, as a platform, IoT very much as the potential to be much bigger than that for PCs, tablets, video game consoles, or other traditional device types.

“Today’s announcement positions us to support customers as they develop new and increasingly sophisticated IoT solutions, which few could have imagined just a few years ago,” Ms. White concludes. “We can’t wait to see what comes from our customers and partners next, and we’ll have more to share throughout the year.”

I suspect we’ll learn more about Microsoft’s IoT push at Build, which is just about a month away.


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Conversation 19 comments

  • Nyghtfall

    04 April, 2018 - 12:59 pm

    <p>I'm now imagining smart refrigerators returning a BSOD when someone tries ordering milk from the door panel.</p>

    • VancouverNinja

      Premium Member
      04 April, 2018 - 1:06 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#259589"><em>In reply to Nyghtfall:</em></a></blockquote><p>That's funny ;-)</p>

      • AnOldAmigaUser

        Premium Member
        04 April, 2018 - 1:29 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#259604"><em>In reply to VancouverNinja:</em></a></blockquote><p>Until it happens to you ;-(</p><p><br></p>

        • VancouverNinja

          Premium Member
          04 April, 2018 - 5:54 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#259622"><em>In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:</em></a></blockquote><p>i have not seen a BSD with a Windows 10 release. I have seen a few green screens with the insider builds, but Windows 10 is pretty rock solid.</p>

          • AnOldAmigaUser

            Premium Member
            11 April, 2018 - 9:33 pm

            <blockquote><a href="#259712"><em>In reply to VancouverNinja:</em></a></blockquote><p>They are not frequent, and of course, they are now frowny faces of death, but they happen. Rebooting a refrigerator would surely count as a first world problem, but I think the whole idea of a "smart" fridge is vaguely dumb. Increasing complexity to solve a problem that is hardly a problem does not seem worth the trouble.</p>

  • Jeffery Commaroto

    04 April, 2018 - 1:34 pm

    <p>It seems like IoT has the most to gain in industry, not necessarily consumer. Manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, shipping and all business operations. Makes sense for Microsoft to go in that direction and then build out a slew of solutions to store, manage and analyze all of the massive quantities of data these things will generate using Azure. Fits in well with everything we've learned about their reorganization recently.</p>

  • Bats

    04 April, 2018 - 1:44 pm

    <p>Uh….didn't they make this very similar announcement before, as in a couple of years ago? I know they did. What's this,like…a reboot of an past initiative?</p><p><br></p><p>As for Johnson Controls and their thermostat…..I don't think there is a single person in this planet who is using it, other than (perhaps) some businesses, excluding Johnson Controls (themselves). I don't recall Paul Thurrot, Brad Samms, or Medhi ever writing that they installed that "cool smart thermostat" in any of their posts. </p>

    • RR

      04 April, 2018 - 1:52 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#259639"><em>In reply to Bats:</em></a></blockquote><p>I don't believe the Thermostat has actually been released. I was begining think it was cancelled after the Invoke came and didn't go in vogue. </p>

    • VancouverNinja

      Premium Member
      04 April, 2018 - 5:56 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#259639"><em>In reply to Bats:</em></a></blockquote><p>They are clearly waiting for some joint announcement, as soon as they are released I am in for 4 of them.</p>

  • CHanskat

    Premium Member
    04 April, 2018 - 2:26 pm

    <p>JC makes a "cool smart thermostat"</p>

  • Stooks

    04 April, 2018 - 2:30 pm

    <p>So is Microsoft going to come out with its own version of Linux and give it away for free?</p><p><br></p><p>I am going to take a wild guess here and say that 99.99999% of "IoT" devices run some form of Linux for two reasons. It is free and light.</p><p><br></p><p>I bet my cable modem, Synology router, Ubiquiti AP's, cable box, Apple TV's, Smart TV's, PS4, Nest devices, smart garage door opener and our lone Echo all run some for of "NIX". The two gaming PC's and the Xbox don't.</p>

    • skane2600

      05 April, 2018 - 11:50 am

      <blockquote><a href="#259665"><em>In reply to Stooks:</em></a></blockquote><p>Well, it is free. Light is more a matter of opinion.</p>

  • chrisrut

    Premium Member
    04 April, 2018 - 2:36 pm

    <p>Yeah, it's actually really exciting. Notice that at one time, the PC was king because it gave users access to, was the hub for, all manner of peripherals. But now, as intelligence moves to the edge, the devices themselves provide that service across platforms and form-factors. Lovely, lovely, lovely.</p><p><br></p>

  • nbplopes

    04 April, 2018 - 6:28 pm

    <p>Embedded Windows CE all over again.</p>

  • MikeGalos

    05 April, 2018 - 9:57 am

    <p>Wow. It is amazing how the usual Microsoft bashers are quick to post on here with no understanding of how IoT works. They seem to think it has nothing to do with network infrastructure or even the cloud and that it's about standalone smart devices. Here's a hint for them. The I in IoT is Internet and it's about standardized communication to edge and server data and computation systems. You'd think they'd bother to read Paul's article where he talks about just that point.</p>

  • davidD

    Premium Member
    05 April, 2018 - 1:56 pm

    <p>LOL, you called it a smart thermometer again Paul :)</p>

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