Microsoft may have missed the boat on mobile, and has been late to the party with tablets, but the company is pushing hard on what may be the next big thing in computing, the Internet of Things. Connecting "aware" devices of all kinds that can gather data of all kinds, and then pass that data along via the internet may well change the way the world works, and in some cases is already doing so.
In order for the IoT to work effectively, however, different devices from different manufacturers and operating systems all need to work together, and that's why Microsoft is announcing that it's joining a number of industry leaders in creating a new "Open Connectivity Foundation", the OCF. Windows President Terry Myerson explains:
We have helped lead the formation of the OCF because we believe deeply in its vision and the potential an open standard can deliver. Despite the opportunity and promise of IoT to connect devices in the home or in businesses, competition between various open standards and closed company protocols have slowed adoption and innovation. Much like W3C manages the standards for the World Wide Web, the IEEE sets electrical engineering standards and the UPU sets the global postal code – standardization can help consolidate industry attention and create opportunity, via an agreed upon set of protocols that move industries and the world forward.
Myerson goes on to say that Windows 10 devices will "natively interoperate with the new OCF standard", and that the standards will be fully compatible with the some 200 million Windows 10 devices already labelled "designed for Allseen".
Microsoft is working hard to position Windows 10 to be the "ideal platform for Things", and the Azure IoT platform to be the best cloud companion. Microsoft and its partners are already using Windows 10 and Azure to power IoT devices across a wide range of industries, and Microsoft is furthering that connectivity with the OCF, and with a set of upcoming APIs to allow developers to easily connect up OCF devices.
Have you dabbled in any IoT technologies? Is an industry standard the best way to go? Let us know in the comments below.