Connected Devices: Microsoft’s Heritage of Innovation

Almost 20 years ago, MIT professors described a world where “things” (devices or sensors) are connected and able to share data. At that time, Microsoft was forging the technologies to make that prediction a reality.

We are already seeing the impact of new intelligence in our lives in products such as Cortana, Skype Translator, and HoloLens. With our $11.4 billion annual investment and continued commitment to R&D, Microsoft continues to pioneer new technologies and services including drones, healthcare technology, artificial and virtual intelligence, and machine learning. These innovations are redefining boundaries, connectivity, and scales of efficiency across enterprises. Harnessing and analyzing the data from these connected devices is creating powerful new business values and insights.

The Internet of Things is at an inflection point, and Microsoft has helped lead the way, not just in developing the technologies around devices and sensors, but driving innovation, fueling new demands, and inspiring new scenarios to transform how people work, engage, and achieve.

The next generation of groundbreaking, life-changing technologies

By 2020, we expect to see more than 20 billion connected devices, and this new Internet of Things presents enormous opportunities. Streams of data from connected devices and sensors—which Microsoft has helped develop—will provide insights that were previously out of reach. Analyzing and harnessing this data will accelerate the pace of innovation, transforming what’s possible.

In addition to emerging, widely-anticipated device types—such as wearable technology and the connected car—the Internet of Things will shape industries such as home automation, point of sale retail, security and surveillance, medical, and many others.

With a portfolio of more than 60,000 patents, and more than 36,000 pending patent applications, Microsoft is pioneering new technologies and services from drones to healthcare technology, to artificial and virtual intelligence, to machine learning. These advances are redefining industries and helping businesses find extraordinary new efficiencies.

Microsoft Technology and the Internet of Things

From how connected devices run, to how users interact with them, to how devices recognize user inputs and collect data, the Internet of Things is powered by Microsoft advancements. Microsoft innovation connects to every aspect of the Internet of Things, including:

  • Operating systems

    Microsoft’s 40-year history building operating systems is unparalleled in the industry. For decades, we have been innovating on Windows solutions from scaling down to the first hand-held OS, to hyper-scaling from IoT devices, to cloud solutions.

  • File Storage

    Microsoft’s industry-leading exFAT file storage and transfer solution connects devices with portable media (through SD cards and other USB-enabled storage devices).

  • Connectivity

    Microsoft is a pioneer in WiFi and mobile connectivity. We continue to make bold bets on the technologies that are powering the future of connected devices, developing wireless, telegraphic, and telephonic communications networks.

  • Sensors

    Sensor innovations are the foundation of intelligent data collection and the future of augmented reality. Microsoft has a long history of developing the technologies that power breakthrough products, from the touch stylus to the revolutionary facial recognition tracking used in gaming, mobile, and aware computing.

  • Gesture Computing

    Microsoft is building on innovations in its motion-sensing Kinect systems to create engaging new technologies that are the future of augmented reality and virtual reality.

  • Graphical User Interface

    Microsoft designs and tests user interfaces relentlessly to make the user experience as frictionless and simple as possible.

  • Voice recognition

    From our heritage in Microsoft voice command to digital personal assistant Cortana, Microsoft has a long and continuing history in interactive technologies.

  • Multi-Touch

    We lead the industry in multi-touch technologies.

  • Security

    Microsoft has always been ahead of the curve in developing technologies to protect data and information. More than a decade ago, we created a model for the industry by developing a trustworthy computing initiative to make security a top priority, and we established a digital crimes unit to address this ever evolving landscape to keep data safe.

  • AI

    The next wave of computing means infusing intelligence into the digital experience. With our cloud-backed technologies, we are unique in having the technologies and scale to push forward in this area.

Contact Us

To discuss licensing Microsoft technology for the Internet of Things, contact a licensing executive.