Microsoft Aims to Make IoT Plug and Play
When Microsoft first delivered Plug and Play (PnP) a generation ago, it was all about letting Windows users automatically connect components and peripherals to their PCs without installing extra drivers.
It was an important advance back in the 1990s, although it wasn’t seamless from the outset. But that’s what Microsoft promises its new IoT Plug and Play, announced Thursday, will do to edge devices. The company describes IoT Plug and Play as a modelling language that is “open” and will provide “seamless” connectivity of edge devices to the cloud.
Microsoft’s IoT Plug and Play will be among a slew of new edge and “intelligent” cloud advances that the company showcases at its annual Build conference in Seattle, where 6,000 developers will gather. CEO Satya Nadella will kick off Build Monday with his vision and road map keynote, where he is expected to emphasize the “intelligent edge.”
Presuming IoT Plug and Play is as seamless as Microsoft claims, it can play an important role in the advance of IoT solutions. Eliminating the need to install software on every edge device will remove a key barrier for partners seeking to build and deploy repeatable IoT solutions for enterprises.
“With IoT Plug and Play, developers can connect IoT devices to the cloud, without having to write a single line of embedded code,” wrote Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Azure Julia White, in a blog post. “IoT Plug and Play also enables device manufactures to build smarter IoT devices that just work with the cloud.”
Several dozen devices are IoT Plug and Play-capable from partners including Compal, Delta, Kyicera, Sharp, Seeed and STMicroelectronics, according to Microsoft. Partners with specialized and vertical IoT platforms that are supporting it include Askey, Thundercomm and Via Technologies.
To help partners find IoT Plug and Play-certified devices, Microsoft also launched its new Azure Certified for IoT device catalog, which includes the first crop of devices including Askey’s Dashcam Smart Camera, Seeed Technology’s SenseCAP temperature and humidity sensors for agricultural and industrial environments and Sharp’s Windows Connected Display.
Eliminating the need for partners to write software for each connected and embedded device is critical for partners seeking to build IoT solutions that scale, wrote Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group. “IoT Plug and Play provides developers with a faster way to build IoT devices and will provide customers with a large ecosystem of partner-certified devices that can work with any IoT solution,” Guthrie noted.
In addition to making it easier to plug device into the Microsoft cloud and its Azure IoT Hub platform, the company said it will add more intelligence to those endpoints with the preview Azure SQL Database Edge. Available in private preview…