Microsoft will invest US$5 billion in the internet of things (IoT) over the next four years to give every customer the ability to transform their businesses with connected solutions.
“It’s well understood that IoT solutions can create operational efficiencies, but we know the true impact extends well beyond that into our daily lives,” said Julia White, corporate vice president of Microsoft Azure, in a recent blog post. “Our customers are delivering electricity to schools in Africa, creating better patient outcomes with predictive care, improving worker safety on job sites and driver safety on Alaskan roadways.”
The increased investment will support continued innovation in Microsoft’s technology platform and supporting programmes. Research and development in key areas, including securing IoT, creating development tools and intelligent services for IoT is set to continue.
Microsoft’s IoT offerings currently range from operating systems for devices, cloud services to control and secure them, advanced analytics to gain insights and business applications to enable intelligent action.
Companies including Steelcase, Chevron, United Technologies and Johnson Controls are innovating with Microsoft’s IoT platform, launching new products, solutions and services that transform businesses.
Johnson Controls has developed a thermostat in a smart device that can monitor a range of conditions to optimise building temperatures automatically. Schneider Electric has built a solution to harness solar energy in Nigeria and using the IoT platform to do maintenance remotely on the panels. The Alaska Department of Transportation is working with Colorado-based Fathym to build smart roadways that monitor weather conditions and can alert drivers about dangerous conditions.
“These stories keep rolling in,” said White. “With each new implementation, we’re witnessing a unique transformation. We’re also getting a look into how both customers and partners overcome the specific challenges of building an IoT solution that harnesses massive amounts of data. Whether they’re building products that transform the home, office or factory floor, one thing remains clear: IoT is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary effort that spans cloud development, machine learning, AI, security and privacy.”
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