Microsoft has announced it will be investing $5 billion into the IoT over the span of the next four years.
The goal of the investment, according to the firm, is “to give every customer the ability to transform their businesses, and the world at large, with connected solutions.”
If you’re reading this, you’ll know the IoT will have a huge impact on almost every facet of our lives — much like computers have. Microsoft’s goal for the IoT even harks some resemblance to company founder Bill Gates’ mission statement to put “a computer on every desk and in every home.”
Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney predicts the IoT will lead to a $1.9 trillion productivity increase and $177 billion in reduced costs by 2020. This will be driven by connected improvements to cities, homes, vehicles, utilities, manufacturing, and just about every other aspect of our lives you can think of.
The $5 billion investment announced today will help to ensure Microsoft continues to deliver for its customers’ needs.
Microsoft already has a range of IoT solutions available including, of course, a dedicated version of its operating system for use on low-powered devices — aptly called Windows 10 IoT.
Along with its operating system, Microsoft also has a cloud offering to control, secure, and manage IoT devices. To complete the end-to-end solution, Microsoft also offers analytics and specific applications for businesses looking to take intelligent actions based on IoT data.
Julia White, CVP of Microsoft Azure, wrote in a blog post:
“We are committed to helping customers bring their vision to life across every industry. Today’s announcement is big—for us and for the future of IoT and the intelligent edge. It positions us to support customers as they develop new and increasingly sophisticated IoT solutions, which few could have imagined just a few years ago. We can’t wait to see what comes from our customers and partners next, and we’ll have more to share throughout the year.”
Companies like Steelcase, Kohler, Chevron, United Technologies, and Johnson Controls currently make use of Microsoft’s IoT platform.