Microsoft enhances end-to-end IoT platform: adds general availability for Microsoft Azure IoT Hub and new device partners for developers

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and organization to achieve more. For businesses today, we believe that the Internet of Things (IoT) represents not only the next major wave of computing, but also the next competitive advantage. Harnessing signals and untapped data from existing and new devices unlocks powerful insights. Companies are realizing how quickly their businesses will improve just by knowing more about their ‘things,’ such as where they are at any given time or predicting maintenance needs to ensure zero downtime.  And that is just the start.

Over the past several years, Microsoft has been engineering the industry’s most comprehensive IoT platform, helping customers build industry solutions that connect their vast array of devices, services, analytics and back-end technologies. Our flexible and end-to-end IoT platform empowers anyone with a business idea, including startups and entrepreneurs that might not yet have extensive infrastructure, to benefit from powerful services and solutions they can provision in minutes. Today, we’re building on that mission of empowering companies to transform their business with IoT through a new offering.

Azure IoT Hub now generally available

First, the big news: The highly anticipated Microsoft Azure IoT Hub will be generally available on February 4. Azure IoT Hub provides an easy and secure way to connect, provision and manage billions of IoT devices sending and receiving trillions of messages per month.  IoT Hub is the bridge between customers’ devices and their solutions in the cloud, allowing them to store, analyze and act on that data in real time.  IoT Hub enables secure, reliable two-way communication—from device to cloud and cloud to device—over open protocols such as MQTT, HTTPS and AMQPS that are already widely used in IoT.  Finally, IoT Hub makes it simple to integrate with other Azure services, such as Azure Machine Learning to find deep insights that power IoT businesses, and Azure Stream Analytics to act on those insights in real time by simultaneously monitoring millions of devices and taking action.

While IoT Hub is an amazing, foundational service for a customized IoT solution, it is just the start.  Microsoft goes beyond building block services by providing preconfigured IoT solutions, so that what used to take weeks for a customer to build can now be automatically provisioned in minutes with the Azure IoT Suite.  Announced September 2015, the Azure IoT Suite enables customers to quickly provision a working, end-to-end IoT solution that includes IoT Hub as well as other Azure Services – and even includes simulated devices so customers can see the solution working right away.  Best of all, the preconfigured solutions in the Azure IoT Suite are easy to customize to satisfy evolving IoT needs.

Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT Momentum

When we announced the Azure IoT Suite in September, we also launched Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT to ensure IoT solutions from global technology leaders are fully interoperable from the start. By offering trusted solutions from verified partners that work with multiple operating systems, including Linux, mbed, RTOS and Windows, Azure Certified for IoT accelerates IoT deployments. Initial certified partners included Arduino, Beagleboard, Freescale, Intel, Raspberry Pi, Samsung and Texas Instruments, and others.

Over the past three-plus months, nearly 30 industry leaders have joined the program. Today, even more are announcing their participation, including Advantech, Dell, HPE, and Libelium. Each of these partners brings their own unique perspective and value proposition to the IoT landscape, and we’re thrilled announce such widespread industry involvement in Azure Certified for IoT.

IoT is poised for dramatic growth in 2016 and we can’t wait to see what our customers and partners will continue to build on our offerings.  We’re just getting started and will have much more to share in the coming months.  You can stay tuned at www.InternetofYourThings.com.