The Internet of Things, which adds connectivity and functionality to what would otherwise be everyday normal objects, has been of considerable interest to Microsoft. With the announcement of an IoT SKU alongside its announcement of Windows 10, Microsoft has been focusing on key hardware partnerships, one of which they announced with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to provide Windows 10 IoT free of charge to Raspberry Pi 2 owners. Microsoft has now announced another IoT partnership with Particle (formally Spark).
This particular partnership won't put the IoT version of Windows 10 on more hardware, but instead brings Microsoft's Azure platform to Particle's own hardware, which focuses on designing connected products. For those not familiar with Particle, they offer Arduino style boards with Wi-Fi or Cellular antennas built on to the boards. The boards allow for a unique and simple way of creating connected products, whether you are using them for a simple DIY project, or designing for large scale manufacturing and deployment.
The partnership will expand their cloud IDE platform to integrate easily with Microsoft Azure to its users to easily process data using Machine Learning, Streaming Analytics, and Event Hub. With these new tools, companies that deploy their Particle based IoT products will have access to the Microsoft Cloud to help them spot trends, opportunities for improvement, as well as predict consumer and partner needs.
This affiliation goes to show how dedicated Microsoft is to the future of the Internet of Things. As it continues to expand its Azure services and IoT capabilities, software partnerships such as this one go full circle to show how the cloud can be beneficial, whether you are a person that just likes tinkering on weekends or a company shipping quantities of cloud connected products in the hundreds of thousands.