Microsoft is planning to invest over $5 billion in the Internet of Things (IoT) over the next four years with the goal to drive business and world transformation with connected solutions.
IoT solutions provide operational efficiencies, but Microsoft’s investment in IoT underscores the fact that the impact of IoT extends well beyond commercial sphere and can better the human lives by fulfilling basic life needs like predictive healthcare, safety while on job or travelling, electricity and more.
“A.T. Kearney predicts IoT will lead to a $1.9 trillion productivity increase and $177 billion in reduced costs by 2020. This effect will be pervasive, from connected homes and cars to manufacturers to smart cities and utilities—and everything in between.” – Microsoft blog
With the investment, Microsoft will now increase its efforts on research and development in securing IoT, creating advanced development tools, and intelligent devices for IoT and the edge and growth of its partner ecosystem.
“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,” wrote Microsoft in a blog post. “The investment we’re announcing today will ensure we continue to meet all our customers’ needs both now and in the future.”
Currently, Microsoft offers several IoT offerings, ranging from operating systems for devices, cloud services that are used to control and secure the devices, advanced analytics for insights, and enterprise-grade applications for intelligent actions.
Though it already has several security services in place with IoT devices, but Microsoft will focus on enhancing the security of connected devices which have been found to be highly vulnerable to attacks.
The efforts to create new development tools will help the enterprises to build applications that can increase the adoption of connected devices.
The growth in partner ecosystem will help drive new ideas and innovative applications on Microsoft platform. Earlier this year, Microsoft had added support for more smart home providers and IFTTT integration to Cortana, making it easier for users to control their smart home devices on the go.