For the past few years, Microsoft Research has been working pretty quietly on HomeOS. The goal of the program is to create a home automation operating system that would be used by a number of interconnected devices and services. Now HomeOS has popped up again, this time as the central theme of a new software development kit for something called Lab of Things.
The SDK is available to download on the official Lab of Things website. It's made mainly for researchers who want to conduct field studies in how new home automation products would work when connected inside a house or other building that's using HomeOS for its automation needs.
The product researcher would write a driver and small application for his or her new HomeOS device and connected to the Home Hub for the field study. The driver and app then connect to Microsoft's Lab of Things platform where he can monitor and store any data collected in the field study to a cloud server. The researcher can also issue software updates to the product via the platform.
Lab of Things can also be used to share data and collaborate with other researchers on their own HomeOS products. In 2012, Microsoft said that 12 homes were conducting real life trials of the HomeOS program. However, there's been no word on if Microsoft has expanded those trials.