Microsoft says it plans to spend $5 billion on the internet of things in the next five years. Generally these announcements are pretty much marketing fluff trying to put a number on basic business expenses that a company has to implement to stay a market leader. So I asked Microsoft for more information on the spending to find out how much of this was the cost of doing business and how much was new.
A Microsoft spokesperson didn’t get into too much detail, but did say that in the last four years Microsoft has spent $1.5 billion on IoT, so this is definitely a boost. The money will be spread out across Microsoft Azure IoT, Microsoft IoT Hub, Windows IoT, and sales and training for those products. It also includes “planned resourcing in hiring, research and product development, partner enablement and training and infrastructure investments.”
Microsoft is a real contender in IoT deployments, especially with big companies. While many startups are using AWS tools, when I talk to industrial clients, Azure is by far the most popular option they cite. And $5 billion more in investment will certainly help Microsoft maintain its advantage.