Microsoft is joining the AllSeen Alliance, a group dedicated to creating an open protocol for devices connected to the internet.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivers a keynote address during the 2014 Microsoft Build developer conference on April 2, 2014 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The AllSeen Alliance, the organization pushing for the AllJoyn open standard for connected devices, has netted Microsoft as a member. Microsoft joins members such as Haier, Sears, LG, Panasonic, Qualcomm and others in supporting a protocol that helps devices communicate their capabilities. The idea is that each connected light bulb shouldn’t have proprietary code. Instead if they support AllJoyn then all share a set of abilities in a unified format with any device that asks.

The end goal of the effort is create fewer barriers for connected products trying to communicate and work together. I’m actually really hopeful that this standard can make it, because I think if we want to build truly connected homes, cars and cities, having some kind of unified way of figuring out what a device is and what it can do will be important in scaling any connected system to tens or even hundreds of devices.

As for Microsoft joining, it’s a big name, but it’s not yet in the connected home. So far I’ve been eager to understand what Microsoft has to offer outside of cloud services and data analytics via Azure or a connected large-format piano keyboard. So far, I’ve seen some Windows 8 device support for the Staples Connect platform and Microsoft is selling Insteon gear in its store. My hunch is that it realizes if it wants to put Windows on Devices it will have to move past its use of Intel Galileo boards for the maker community into something that’s a bit more popular and open. How that helps Microsoft make bank is still a question I can’t answer.

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  1. “Because I think if we want to build truly connected homes, cars and cities,”

    You can stop there. As this country continues to betray its citizens I see no value whatsoever in forwarding a connected environment that can and will eventually be used against me to monitor or exploit my personal life.

    I suggest people question this hard, now, before it gets started and vote against the Orwellian tech this will become.

  2. Connected SMART Home Sunday, July 6, 2014

    Ric, I appreciate you concerns and where I agree with the consumer being in control of their own lives and security being a massive issue, the average consumer has multiple connected devices in their home which can be controlled or hacked now.

    Like it or not, technology has taken over most peoples lives now. We need a standard so things work properly but also for control, choice and understanding of what’s in our hones.

    @allseenalliance in my eyes is more about the consumer.