GITEX opened today in Dubai and Microsoft unveiled an interactive demo to illustrate the company’s position regarding the future of IoT and its impact on smart cities around the world. The demo works by demonstrating how connecting a small, yet very powerful cloud connected IoT device to a car can help city dwellers overcome several day-to-day urban challenges. It shows how IoT devices, Microsoft Cloud, and Analytics come together to build a safer and smarter city; one that improves the lives of people and better enables governments and policy makers to make informed decisions and run smarter cities.
I was able speak with Mohammed Arif, Windows Lead at Microsoft Gulf, about mobility and and Microsoft’s positioning for the future. Here’s what he had to say…
Q: How is Microsoft answering the trend towards IoT?
A: Microsoft is keeping pace with the IoT trend by being mobile and cloud first. Then, we follow that up with devices. Windows 10 is not limited to desktops. It runs on all kinds of devices; from small, screenless IoT devices to smartphones and tablets. Enabling all devices with the same platform supports big data analytics. We believe in the formula, device plus data. With our intelligent cloud tech, which includes Azure for IoT related services and partners who build exceptional devices, we are poised for this trend.
Q: Apps are a key fundamental with regard to linking objects to the internet. What is Microsoft’s strategy to improve it’s app infrastructure?
A: Windows 10 is a platform that allows developers to build once and run on any device. We have also invested in ways to make transferring code to Win 10 simpler. With these capabilities developers should find it easier to create using the platform. We also extend developer opportunities all the time.
Our goal is 1 billion Windows 10 devices. With 110 million devices in 11 weeks, we can do it.
Q: Can you speak a little bit about developer workshops happening here in Dubai and the outcomes of those events.
A: Yes. We are very developer-friendly and we host many developer opportunities; not just here in Dubai but all over the region. We start by extending outreach to existing developers and we also have corporate partnerships where we help corporations build their own apps to use internally.
Q: Any final notes on Microsoft, or what we can expect from Microsoft in the near future?
Windows 10 is a humbling release. We spent a lot of time listening to feedback. For example, users said we need the start button back so you will see that we put it back in.
A: We are looking forward to the release of Surface Pro 4, our mobile device, designed to replace the desktop. We also look forward to supporting our partners – XP, Dell and Lenovo – with the development of other outstanding products. This is a great time for us.
*Answers have been paraphrased.