Microsoft announces $5 billion investment in Internet of Things

Microsoft committed today to a $5 billion investment in the Internet of Things (IoT) over the next four years. As part of the investment, the company says that it will focus on IoT research and development, security, development tools, services, and growing its partner ecosystem.

"With our IoT platform spanning cloud, OS, and devices, we are uniquely positioned to simplify the IoT journey so any customer—regardless of size, technical expertise, budget, industry or other factors—can create trusted, connected solutions that improve business and customer experiences, as well as the daily lives of people all over the world," Microsoft said in a blog post (opens in new tab). "The investment we're announcing today will ensure we continue to meet all our customers' needs both now and in the future."

News of the investment comes a week after Microsoft announced a major reorganization, focusing the company more on AI and edge computing. "Computing experiences are evolving to include multiple senses and are no longer bound to one device at a time but increasingly spanning many as we move from home to work and on the go," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explained in an email to employees announcing the reorganization. With a focus on the "intelligent edge," IoT devices stand to play a big role in Microsoft's strategy, and the investment announced today drives that home.

This comes in addition to Microsoft's efforts with Windows 10 IoT Core (opens in new tab). According to Microsoft, customers can expect to see new products, services, programs, and more stemming from its investment.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Just make a Cortana speaker that's less than £100 please with skype calling built in.
  • Give us Cortana based alternatives to Alexa/echo priced competitively and provide incentives to developers to build for it. Now please.
  • They should've been doing that when Cortana launched. And it should've been a native feature of xbox one while kinect was still included. They dropped the ball, big time.
  • The price of Amazon devices is subsidized by the increase in sales & data gathering to market more products to you. They're loss leaders that enable you to buy more products and gather more data on your habits for marketing purposes. The same goes for Google. Microsoft & apple don't have products & advertising to sell in any appreciable quantity compared to the other two, hence the higher prices & low adoption.
  • This. Let's understand what Amazon and Google sell when they sell you one of those. What comes with those devices, I don't want.
  • MS & Apple will still collect & use your datas, maybe sell them if they can get away with it. They just don't have the same retail/marketing presence Amazon or even Google have.
  • We need a $49 Cortana speaker and a $29 Xbox Cortana mic.
  • Today: Microsoft plans $5 Billion investment in iot! Gets jump on competition
    4.years.later: Microsoft once again finds itself playing catch-up, cancels all iot devices developed from the last 4 years! lol
  • IoT is much more than Cortana, language translation and other tech you see as AI today. tomorrow Microsoft will be pioneer in Humanoid 2nd generation robots that will power Smart Cities of the future, and the clue is that your smartphone won't be part of this revolution
  • Flying cars too?
  • To borrow a US sports phrase - "The future is now!" They really need products on the ground in front of consumers...enterprise, home, where ever.
  • Correct. They (Microsoft) are always talking about this "paradigm shift" nonsense. The future really is NOW. Too bad they are short sighted to see this. As well as their ravenous fanboys. They are losing ground, DAILY! Waiting, and waiting and waiting. DON'T work. They have been waiting for YEARS now. Or, as they like to call it RETRENCHING! They have been digging a big trench for more than phones really...waiting to see this "shift" which is NOT happening.
  • Microsoft Band 4 confirmed. Preordering as I type this.
  • Band IV (skip 3 which was canceled) as follows: Double the screen (and battery) of the last band, keep it curved, add telephony via Bluetooth to an ACPC and you have a killer combination. Thoughts? No, it won't be under $100. Launch by Christmas and queue up Wings "Band on the run".
  • Band was a toy for Microsoft, they can do much more advanced things for Smart Cities, forget about Apple and Google, they don't do real innovation anymore
  • Hahahahahah, sounds like windows mobile all over again. Let's s just toss a few billion down the drain again even though they don't have a clue where they want to go with it. If would be funny if it wasn't so sad.
  • Except IoT is not for consumers, it's for citizens and is funded by Government + Private companies
  • Where do you think the government gets its money from? They certainly don't get it from the unicorn butt dust magic tree. I have been a dedicated Microsoft user for over 20 years and even I see that they will go the way of IBM if they keep going this route. P*** off all of your clients and you'll be left with nothing. Mobile, Kinect, Band/2, Zune, Groove and on and on and on with the waste of great products. But, but, they do have that looking ahead to 20-30 years thing going. Oh yeah, they are so great at foresight. Even when they do have foresight, they manage to screw it up. That twit Satya will turn them into a nostalgia conversation.
  • At least they tossed it as something useful this time instead of LinkedIn. OH WAIT. that's right...Data mining at its best there for personal profits! Right.
  • Gosh, and only 4 years later than they should have.
  • Microsoft should work with Claudia Sheinbaum of this, she will lead management on the World's largest city (Mexico Metropolitan Area) from 2018 to 2024. We need smart transport, smart police, smart fuels, smart bike systems, etc and Microsoft can be the vendor IoT leader in this administration
  • IOT = ARM IOT will be ruled by ARM the same way mobile is ruled by ARM. Why do you think Microsoft is going Windows on ARM, ARM servers, XBOX on ARM, Surface on ARM, and Holodeck on ARM?? Duh.
  • IoT is dominated by iOS and Android. Most IoT devices are controlled by smartphone apps. Microsoft lost the IoT wars the second they retrenched from mobile. Any chance they had to pave a new path Kinect and Cortana was also squandered.
  • What IoT om android and apple ???? The one where you control your blinds your lights and your video systems... Those are nothing new in regards to IoT... Google and apple don't control ****.. They just have a few apps on obsolete devices (smartphones) to control what house automation have been dealing with PC for decades... Big whoopsyti whoops innovation you have there... *slow clap*
  • JMV83. Time to take the head out of the ass. Smartphones are anything but obsolete (spoken like a true MS faboy). They are just getting more powerful and better. Just because Ole Nads ****** up microsoft's version of the phone to the point of 0.0 % market share does not mean that ALL smartphones are going the way of the 'doh doh' bird. Just the opposite, They are getting more powerful with each new version. They are even getting 40 mp sensors when MS decided to cut that "nonsense" out. Again, to bad...but when you are lead by a visionless leader, You get this. Fanboys need to open their eyes and minds to the fact that MS do not give two ***** about consumer, and are only interested in the cloud. This is just another bit of proof. 4 years to late to the party!
  • Are we developing our traffic light and control system or security camera with Android / iOS (with Azure, AI and UWP equivalent backing those IOT devices)? Android for IOT maybe, but certainly not possible with iOS. It's a close system, the OS's only available on iPhone or iPad. If devs want to... we can have an IOT device talk to xb1 games. Remember the Dreamcast mem card? Now with network ability and runs UWP. ps: here's a Win10 IOT bot
  • IOTA!!!
  • First, storage technology in DNA then this. MSFT on a roll.
  • 5 times the amount of the previously expected devices running Windows 10 IoT in 2020 :)
  • traffic light + control system, water station + meters, monitor / security camera, etc powered by UWP, AI & Azure. If devs want to... we can have an IOT device talk to xb1 games. Remember the Dreamcast mem card? Now with network ability and runs UWP.