Microsoft finally gets into the internet of things: Prepare for blue-screening fridges, mugs…

Ahead of the official start of Microsoft’s Build developer conference later today, details of its new Windows on Devices effort has leaked out. According to the Windows on Devices website (which has since been taken offline), Microsoft is ”bringing Windows to a whole new class of small devices,” including robots, coffee mugs, and pianos (which aren’t usually considered “small”).

Windows on Devices interlinks with Intel’s recent push into the internet of things, with the x86 Quark SoC and Galileo/MinnowBoard single-board computers (SBC). As the internet of things finally threatens to take off, this could be a very savvy move for Microsoft.

As you may have noticed, the introduction of the $35 Raspberry Pi back in 2012 and the continued growth and support for Arduino microcontrollers not only rejuvenated interest in DIY computing, but it also coincided with one of the hottest topics in tech: the internet of things. Basically, there is a very strong urge to connect every possible gadget and gizmo to the internet, so that we have better control and understanding of our environment. Smart homes that you can control from your phone, smart power grids that reduce power consumption (and let you sell power back to the grid), mesh networks between cars so that they can avoid traffic, fridges that can tell you when you’re out of Sriracha, coffee mugs that can order a refill — the internet of things promises to enable all of these things, and more. … (Read more)