The new, more open Microsoft has been implementing support for a lot of popular cross platform and open source technologies previously held at a distance by Redmond. Recently we’ve heard of support for open source projects like Node.js and SSH.
But last November, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would work with a new technology called AllJoyn and this led Time magazine to speculate that it could be the biggest secret Windows 10 feature.
AllJoyn is a protocol or common language that allows for devices to talk with each other and encourages interoperability between different manufactures. Developed originally by Qualcomm, the code became open sourced and has been promoted by the AllSeen Alliance as the potential new standard for interoperability for the Internet of Things (IoT).
As noted in Time’s article, the AllSeen Alliance has grown to include more than 150 companies, including everyone from Sony, LG, Sharp, Panasonic, Sears, Electorlux, Cisco, HTC, and more.
By incorporating AllJoyn in Windows 10, this could give any Windows 10 device the potential to be a smart home control that seamlessly works with any device you have, from light bulbs, to TV’s and large appliances. John Patrick Pullen of Time notes:
“AllJoyn integration could be huge not just for Windows users, but for the millions of people who can’t wrap their heads around setting up smart home products. In essence, any Windows 10 device — smartphones, tablets, or PCs — could become a smart home controller… AllJoyn has no hardware at the heart of it, and as soon as Windows 10 becomes available, the turnkey solution would go from having 10 million devices included to more than a billion.”
As Philip DesAutels, Senior Director of IoT at the Linux Foundation, is speaking with Pullen, he says:
“You have two pages of apps on your iPad or tablet. I don’t want an app for my smart plug, an app for my lightbulb, an app for my crock pot, an app for this and an app for that — that’s just not viable. What I want is an app that automates my house, life and safety . . . and I ‘d like it to put it up on the TV, so I don’t have to get my iPad to think about it.”
This positions Windows 10 devices, with AllJoyn interoperability built in, to become the single conductor and point of access for your smart home and IoT connected devices. And as more and more manufactures are putting processors and connectivity into everything they make, this could be a very powerful combination.
Pullen also notes that while this is similar to Apple’s HomeKit, Windows 10 and AllJoyn doesn’t require manufacturers to have a special chip in their product like Apple’s solution does.
This could make Windows 10 and AllJoyn the most cost effective and least cumbersome path to making the IoT and smart homes live up to all the hype. And Microsoft’s recent trend of embracing open source projects and supporting cross platform interoperability could pay off big for Windows 10’s rate of adoption by consumers as well as interest from developers.