A Sleeper In the Internet of Things War

Google just acquired Nest for $3.2 billion.

This is a defining moment for the Internet of Things movement, and you’ll undoubtedly read over the next several months, maybe years, about how Google is now winning the war in the space because of this acquisition.

As a technology enthusiast, I think this is a fantastic move, and will absolutely accelerate both the development and widespread adoption of these kinds of devices. As consumers, we have a lot to look forward to with this deal.

But while Google will be heralded as the winner in the Internet of Things movement (at least for the time being), I believe there’s another company out there that could emerge as a strong competitor to Google in this space. No, it’s not Apple.

It’s Microsoft.

They recently acquired Nokia’s Devices and Services division for $7.2 billion. Nokia is by far the largest OEM partner for Windows Phones. Naturally, the assumption is that this move was made to help increase Windows Phone marketshare.

Looking deeper though, Microsoft is getting 32,000 employees from Nokia, many of which are expert hardware engineers in fields varying from sensors to networking to manufacturing of small components.

Coupled with Microsoft’s strong entry point into the living room with Xbox, and specifically it’s Kinect sensor, as well as it’s fairly recent acquisition of Perceptive Pixel, a company that manufactured large PPI touch screens, it’s not absurd to imagine that slowly but surely, they’re making their entrance into the Internet of Things. They’ve certainly imagined it, as evidenced by their production of this futuristic productivity concept video.

I’m not saying with certainty that Microsoft is indeed heading into this space, nor am I guaranteeing that they will overtake Google + Nest, but when you consider the assets they have, the ones they’re getting with Nokia, and the need to shake things up dramatically to regain the confidence of consumers, at the very least it’s intriguing to consider.

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