Microsoft Joins Powerful Internet of Things Alliance
Back in April, the Future of Open Source Survey, sponsored by Black Duck and North Bridge Venture Partners, showed that The Internet of Things looms large as an emerging technology trend. And, In December of last year, The Linux Foundation announced its Allseen Alliance initiative, billed as "the broadest cross-industry consortium to date to advance adoption and innovation in the 'Internet of Everything' in homes and industry." Premier level members in the alliance include Haier, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sharp, Silicon Image and TP-LINK.
And, this week, Microsoft joined what is shaping up to be a big effort to create an open platform for the Internet of Things. Microsoft's participation in the Allseen Alliance could boost everything from Xbox connectivity to automation in homes, and its participation is no doubt driven by new CEO Satya Nadella (seen here), who is a cloud computing guru.
Gartner predicts that the Internet of Everything or the Internet of Things -- automatic communication and connectivity between a wide range of everyday devices, objects and applications – will infuse $1.9 trillion into the global economy by 2020. That's a tech revolution on par with some of the mobile achievements of the past several years.
In December, as the Allseen Alliance rolled out, it became clear just how much support the Linux Foundation had rallied behind it. It includes some of the world’s leading, consumer electronics manufacturers, home appliances manufacturers, service providers, retailers, enterprise technology companies, innovative startups, and chipset manufacturers.
The Allseen Alliance seeks to rally its members to develop open technology around Alljoyn, device communications technology which came originally from Qualcomm.
In a Microsoft blog post, officials write:
"The Internet of Things (IoT) represents an undeniable opportunity across a range of industries, a topic many of my colleagues have covered at length over the past few months. We believe that there is a critical set of work our industry must undertake in order to make sure we deliver the right set of platforms and services to realize the IoT opportunity."
"We believe the promise of IoT lies in making new and existing devices smarter by connecting them to services in the cloud. At Microsoft, we are focused both on a powerful device platform and great services through Microsoft Azure to deliver great technology to developers, partners and customers."
It remains to be seen how open Microsoft will be in its Internet of Things development, but it is good news for the Allseen Alliance to gain a powerful new partner.
Some are predicting that next year's CES show will feature many products incorporating open Allseen Alliance code, and that by then we will see if open source can form the fabric that makes The Internet of Things a reality.