Microsoft is opening a new lab for connected devices in Munich, Germany, its first European IoT lab which follows previous openings on its Redmond campus and in Shenzen, China (via Bloomberg). The new structure will welcome local customers looking to create new hardware (from new consumer products to industrial robots) or develop software using Microsoft's IoT solutions.
Munich is an interesting choice for Microsoft, as several industrial giants such as BMW and Siemens AG have their headquarters in the German city. More importantly, Bloomberg notes that both Cisco and IBM have recently opened similar technology labs in Germany.
As we're seeing an increasing number of appliances being connected to the Internet, IoT is becoming hard to ignore for manufacturers. Moreover, connected industrial robots can bring significant productivity gains, something that is especially hard to ignore in a context of increased international competition. “There is a concern of being left behind if one of their competitors can shorten the process.” said Microsoft’s executive vice-president of business development Peggy Johnson to Bloomberg.
However, IoT still remains a nascent technology field as of today, and Microsoft seems to be aware of it. "“We know it’s significant, it just hasn’t taken off," shared Johnson. Customers may remain cautious for now, but Microsoft's investments in IoT may help the company become an early market leader when the technology eventually matures.