Industry giants try to be everywhere, but often neither their name nor their work is enough to find a niche in the market. It happened to Google. Mountain View will shut down its IoT Core service, the company announced last week. The reason is that partners can better manage their customers’ IoT devices and services. The problem is that with this shutdown they also lose part of the cloud market.
Although Microsoft also relies heavily on its partners as part of its IoT and edge computing strategies. It continues to expand its range of IoT services and integrate them more tightly with Azure. The proposal of “Intelligent Cloud/Intelligent Edge” from CEO Satya Nadella is being transformed into an end-to-end intelligent distributed computing game.
Azure beats Google Cloud in IoT
Following a reorganization in April this year that saw the Azure IoT engineering and PM teams become part of the Azure Edge + Platform group, Microsoft has worked to consolidate its IoT and IT teams from edge and merge these offerings more seamlessly with Azure. Microsoft officials said at the time that they wanted to integrate the IoT/edge into the company’s Azure Arc hybrid management service; Azure Stack, its family of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) appliances and products; and Azure Edge Zones, its cloud services connected to 5G networks available from Edge installations. This way, Microsoft can present Edge devices as manageable from Azure globally.
Current Microsoft IoT offerings include:
- Azure IoT Hub, a service to connect, monitor and manage IoT assets
- Azure Digital Twins, which uses the “spatial intelligence” model physical environments. The so-called digital twin that is already used in companies such as Navantia.
- Azure IoT Edge, bringing analytics to edge computing devices
- Azure IoT Central; Windows for IoT, which allows users to build Edge solutions using Microsoft tools.
- On the front of the IoT operating system
- Microsoft has Azure RTOS, its real-time IoT platform.
- Azure Sphere, its Linux-based microcontroller operating system platform and services.
- Windows 11 IoT Enterprise and Windows 10 IoT Core – a legacy IoT operating system platform that is still supported by Microsoft but hasn’t been significantly updated since 2018.
Amazon offers a battle to Microsoft
For its part, Amazon offers interesting competition to Microsoft with its own services. It has a strong presence in industry, commerce and the automotive industry with its set of services. Additionally, it offers FreeRTOS, its open-source real-time operating system, IoT Greengrass, and a development kit for education-focused IoT devices. Like Microsoft, AI/ML seems to be key here. Unlike Microsoft, AWS also has a significant presence in the home/consumer IoT.
This year, we could see during the Company Build, which was held in May, sessions on the evolution of the company’s IoT and edge strategies. The battle with Google is won, but the war is still very open. During Ignite in October, we will surely hear news from the Redmond giant regarding its IoT strategy.