Microsoft began its push to dominate the Internet of Things (IoT) by announcing at the Build 2014 conference that Windows for the Internet of Things will be given away free. This "giveaway" will start with smartphones carrying Microsoft Phone and tablets less than 9 inches.
Analysts said this surprising decision is undoubtedly aimed at ensuring that Windows dominates the IoT. The Windows on Devices website said Microsoft is "bringing Windows to a whole new class of small devices." This portion of the website has since been taken offline.
It noted that Microsoft will release a software development kit later this spring that will let developers build "a smart coffee mug, a talking bear, a robot, or something else entirely."
The IoT is a concept first broached in the early 1990s in which things or objects like cars and watches, and animals and people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to automatically transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
Windows on Devices interlinks with Intel Corporation's recent push into the IoT with the x86 Quark SoC (system on a chip) and Galileo/MinnowBoard single-board computers (SBC).
Pundits said there is a very strong urge to connect every possible gadget to the Internet so that users have better control of their environment. The IoT can be used to control smart homes and smart power grids, for example.
It will also enable cars to "talk" to each other so that they can avoid traffic; command your refrigerator to alert you when you're out of a certain product and brew your morning coffee.