Microsoft Expands IoT Plan with Enhanced Azure Features

| Updated
by Teuta Franjkovic · 3 min read
Microsoft Expands IoT Plan with Enhanced Azure Features
Photo: Microsoft / Twitter

Microsoft revealed numerous upgrades to its Azure IoT Central platform, which is intended for the use of enterprises to connect IoT-enabled devices.

The growing internet of things (IoT) segment hasn’t been showing any signs of weakening for now. As per IDC, 41.6 billion devices, including smartphones and smart home assistants, should be connected to the internet by the year 2025. The whole market is expected to be worth around $24.88 billion by 2022,

At IoT Solutions World Congress on Monday, Microsoft announced new capabilities in its cloud computing service Azure in order to “simplify” the whole process for its customers and deliver “highly secured” IoT solutions.

Azure IoT CVP Sam George said that these are made to help drive better business outcomes through its Azure IoT software-as-a-service (SaaS) suite, which is growing nearly 150% year-over-year.

Last April the company said its plans include setting aside $5 billion in IoT and the intelligent edge over the next four years. This kind of investment has already been used in some acquisitions like that of real-time operating systems developer Express Logic, and it will probably pay off in dividends. Research and advisory company Gartner Inc. predicts that by 2020 there will be more than 20 billion connected devices.

George wrote:

“We live in an increasingly connected world. At Microsoft, we are committed to providing a trusted, easy-to-use platform that allows our customers and partners to build seamless, smart, and secure solutions regardless of where they are in their IoT journey.”

From Microsoft, they said it will roll out a new Azure IoT Central pricing model in early 2020 in order to “provide customers and partners predictable pricing as usage scales.”

IoT Hub message enhancement enables messages to get rich information attached before they are sent, so the downstream processing and deliver insights can be streamlined. As for the Azure Event Grid integration, it’s focused on easing device telemetry events sending to Azure and third parties. Microsoft said that both will launch by the end of November.

Microsoft’s Azure Maps were also slightly refreshed and now integrates more heavily with Microsoft’s Power BI business analytics service. The maps are also accessible to customers of Government Cloud, a platform made for meeting the security and compliance requirements of the US federal, state, and local governments.

Because of their partnership with Accuweather, Azure Maps users can diffuse apps with geospatial weather intelligence in order allow weather-based routing, targeted marketing, and operations optimization scenarios.

Accuweather founder and CEO Joel N. Myers called this “a game-changer,” adding “this opens up new opportunities for organizations large and small to benefit from our superior weather data based on their unique needs.”

Azure Time Series Insights is the analytics, storage, and visualization service that explores and analyzes billions of IoT events. It has been refreshed last year and now it is preparing a bunch of new storage and analytics features.

This kind of multi-layered storage support will make possible accessing frequently used data (“warm data”) and infrequently used historical data (“cold data”). Talking about the cold data front, all history is stored in Azure Storage accounts and in Apache Parquet format, enabling predictive analytics and machine learning using data science toolsets as Spark, Databricks or Jupyter.

Microsoft’s Linux-based operating system Azure Sphere, created for microcontroller-powered devices should, as per company, become available in February 2020.

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Teuta Franjkovic

Experienced creative professional focusing on financial and political analysis, editing daily newspapers and news sites, economical and political journalism, consulting, PR and Marketing. Teuta’s passion is to create new opportunities and bring people together.

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