Once a fierce enemy, Microsoft now sees the Linux Foundation as a partner with a huge potential, so the company recently decided to join the AllSeen Alliance created for building an open source framework that would help connect homes, cars, and mobile devices using a single standard.
The AllSeen Alliance was founded in December 2013 and although the project was led by Qualcomm, the source code was handed to the Linux Foundation. At this point, the project groups some of the biggest tech players on the market, including Cisco, HTC, Panasonic, Sharp, Symantec, LiteOn and LG.
The purpose of the alliance is to develop a universal software framework which would be based on the AllJoyn open source code and allowing devices that bundle it to interact with nearby products. This would easily lead to development of other advanced technologies, such as smart homes, and eventually empowering what the experts are calling the ecosystem for the Internet of Everything.
Microsoft has clearly spotted the potential of such a project, so it doesn't want to be late to the party in case something big is coming out of it. Of course, the AllSeen Alliance is pleased to have Microsoft on-board, especially because Redmond has the resources and the know-how to make this happen.
“We’re delighted to welcome Microsoft to the AllSeen Alliance,” said Liat Ben-Zur, Chairman of the AllSeen Alliance.
“No single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the Internet of Everything in everyday, real-life scenarios. Microsoft’s strong presence in the home via computers, tablets, phones, gaming platforms and their strength in the consumer, enterprise, education, industrial automotive sectors, uniquely enables them to accelerate the adoption of the AllSeen Alliance’s AllJoyn open source code across a very wide swath of products and verticals.”
Microsoft, on the other hand, says that the Internet of Things is already happening, even though certain improvements still need to be made.
The company's Research unit could clearly lend a hand in this project, as Microsoft's engineers have already managed to create several devices that could interact with surrounding objects in a revolutionary way.
“Microsoft believes that the Internet of Things is not a futuristic notion but is here today in the devices, sensors and cloud infrastructure all around us,” said Kevin Dallas, general manager, Operating Systems Group, Microsoft.
“But in order to make the Internet of Things truly successful, there are challenges to be addressed in securely connecting and managing all these devices and interacting with cloud services and machine-generated data. We believe the AllSeen Alliance is a very important effort to collaboratively address these challenges, and we’re excited about joining the initiative.”
The AllSeen Alliance currently has 51 members, with more likely to be added soon. Google and Apple however, which are both long-time Microsoft rivals, are yet to join the effort.