Microsoft and Insteon team up for connected home and business apps and devices

Microsoft wants to get in on the growing connected home and business industry and today it was revealed that the company has entered into a partnership with one of the leading organizations in this field, Insteon.

The company announced today that it will launch Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone apps in June that will offer consumers a way to automatically monitor their security and energy use. These features include a way to schedule when lights turn on and off, a way to notify users if a door or windows opens or closes and more.

In addition, the Windows 8.1 app will offer some exclusive features, such as Live Tile notifications on several devices, a way to monitor multiple homes and businesses with one account and more.

Insteon also announced that its hardware devices for home and business will be sold in Microsoft's retail stores in early July, in special packaging to emphasize their Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone support. Insteon says the stores will sell Starter, Home and Business kits with pricing that starts at $199. It also will sell five stand alone products in Microsoft Stores (Leak Sensor, Open/Close Sensor, LED Bulb, On/Off Module and Wireless Wi-Fi Camera) for prices ranging for $29.99 to $79.99.

Source: Insteon | Image via Insteon

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I'm a bit mystified as to why they will be included a leak detector in the five stand-alone items but not a simple light switch or dimmer. Are they afraid that people are that frightened of doing a little simple wiring?

There's a metric ton of this stuff on Amazon. It'll be interesting to see what the Microsoft Store $199 kit includes - the existing starter kit (hub, two lamp modules) is widely available for under $110. The app is the real news here - you can buy Insteon stuff anywhere.

This sounds great - the fact that most of these home automation things only have apps for iOS and Android has kept me out of the market. What will separate the men from the boys is if they build in Cortana integration.

I read on WPCentral that MS helped Insteon build the app, so hopefully Cortana integration is on the cards. As a UK resident this tech is available over here too, seriously looking into this!

Never got anything back from them about encryption of their connections to and from your lan at home/work to your handsets. Not so sure I'd like to use one of these without at least having encryption for external control.

Looking forward to the Windows Phone app for Insteon. Hopefully this is just the beginning of bigger things to come from Microsoft around home automation / IoT.