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Microsoft has been clear in its stance of the future laying with the Internet of Things (IoT). Indeed, the company has consistently positioned itself as a leader in the connected market. Now Redmond is taking its involvement in IoT and machine learning to the next level with a $5 billion investment.

On the company’s IoT blog, Corporate Vice President Julia White said the company will pump $5 billion into IoT development. The money will be spent over the next four years, White confirmed. Make no mistake, this is a massive investment and shows Microsoft’s commitment to IoT. Let’s not forget the market is still nascent, albeit with the expectation of driving future technology.

White says Microsoft has decided to invest heavily in IoT due to “increased adoption and exponential growth that analysts have been forecasting for years, and we’re just getting started.”

The blog post cites analyst A.T. Kearney, who predicts Internet of Things will have a “$1.9 trillion productivity increase and $177 billion in reduced costs by 2020.”

While the $5 billion investment in the Internet of Things is significant, Microsoft says this is just the start. White says the company wants all customers to transform their digital lives through connected solutions, whether for personal or business.

Microsoft points out it has been developing IoT solutions long before the term was even created. Building towards an intelligent stage where devices and platforms are interconnected is something the company believes will drive the future. Speculation is already rife over what this will mean for Windows in the long term.

White does not discuss Windows in the announcement, so people will continue to predict the demise of the PC platform until Microsoft details clear plans.

Pushing Development

Microsoft is certainly not the only company pursuing IoT with robust investment. However, the company is building on a strong base with a four-year plan that should put it at the forefront of connected innovations:

“This increased investment will support continued innovation in our technology platform, as well as supporting programs. We will continue research and development in key areas, including securing IoT, creating development tools and intelligent services for IoT and the edge, and investments to grow our partner ecosystem. Customers and partners can expect new products and services, offerings, resources and programs.”