I’ve been digesting and expanding on an interesting white paper authored by the Microsoft Azure Incubation team titled: Building the Internet of Things– Early learnings from architecting solutions focused on predictive maintenance. I agree with the premise tha ubiquity in connection technology will be the key enabler and that predictive maintenance will probably be required to instantiate a true global ubiquitous connection state. Recently MS is changing their terminology from Internet of Things to Internet of Everything (IoE). Here I use them interchangeably A key technical enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT) is ubiquitous connectivity. A week or so ago I blogged about a new technology called Active Steering(TM) which should be the winner in patented connectivity hardware/Software/Firmware for antenna products.
Just imagine that the antenna on your device was constantly sampling the wireless signals around your location and finding the strongest source and directing the focus of the antenna to that source. That is what an Active Steering antenna does on your phone, tablet or PC. By using this technique the system is also performing predictive maintenance on the connectivity configuration for your specific device and location. Let’s first look at the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. Even though the Internet model uses a simplified abstraction, the models in the previous figure and the associated well-known logical protocols are comparable. Application-layer protocols are not concerned with the lower-level layers in the stack other than being aware of the key attributes of those layers, such as IP addresses and ports. The right side of the figure shows the logical protocol breakdown transposed over the OSI model and the TCP/IP model.
Special-purpose devices differ not only in the depth of their relationship with back-end services, but in the interaction patterns of these services when compared to information-centric devices because of their role as peripherals. They are not the origin of command-and-control gestures; instead, they typically contribute information to decisions, and receive commands as a result of decisions. The decision-maker does not interface with them locally, and the device acts as an immediate proxy; the decision-maker is remotely connected and might be a machine. We usually classify interaction patterns for special-purpose devices into the four categories indicated in the following figure.
All of these models need uninterrupted connectivity to enable the ultimate user experience that Windows 10 could offer with the addition of Active Steering Technologies at the Platform level.
As a member of the Windows Insider Program I have had a while now to install, investigate and update the Windows 10 Technical Preview. I took a 12 year old HP Windows 7 PC and upgraded it to Windows 10. All of my hardware & programs worked flawlessly. The new browser (code named “Project Spartan” ) is really a big step forward in performance and functionality. Key features are built-in natively to the browser and their major purpose is to make web-services content easier to read, share and comment on.
Other more important revelations have to do with the stated goals of Microsoft regarding their key technology – Windows. According to the new CEO Satya Nadella, “Windows 10 marks the beginning of the more personal computing era in the mobile-first, cloud-first world.Our ambition is for the 1.5 billion people who are using Windows today to fall in love with Windows 10 and for billions more to decide to make Windows home.” If you look at the new offerings superimposed on the backdrop of existing “must have” applications, Microsoft seems determined to make itself through Windows the big dog in the internet services arena. According to Terry Myerson, “We think of Windows as a Service – in fact, one could reasonably think of Windows in the next couple of years as one of the largest Internet services on the planet.”
He continued to state that, “Windows 10 is the first step to an era of more personal computing. This vision framed our work on Windows 10, where we are moving Windows from its heritage of enabling a single device – the PC – to a world that is more mobile, natural and grounded in trust. We believe your experiences should be mobile – not just your devices. Technology should be out of the way and your apps, services and content should move with you across devices, seamlessly and easily. In our connected and transparent world, we know that people care deeply about privacy – and so do we. That’s why everything we do puts you in control – because you are our customer, not our product. We also believe that interacting with technology should be as natural as interacting with people – using voice, pen, gestures and even gaze for the right interaction, in the right way, at the right time. These concepts led our development and you saw them come to life today. “
I’ve been interacting with other Intel Alumni regarding the Internet of Things and various prognostications about the work going on between Intel & Microsoft. Some believe there’s no room for Intel in this domain space to the I posted on an Intel Alumni social media site:
“Don’t count this partnership out quite yet…. The new management teams at both of these companies are well positioned to drive innovation and deliver a cost effect offerings in the IoT space. MSFT’s purchase of Nokia along with the Surface device push means that a lot of folk at MSFT are now focused on delivering HW/SW bundled solutions. If any collaboration can find a way to do it the Intel army along with a reinvigorated Bill Gates having a hands-on role at MSFT (from an architecture and creativity function) could cause an inflection point for the IoT product domain.”
Also, look at this video from our friends in Redmond:
It seems that that is the case. In fact the old-style justifications for on site servers and attendant OpEx costs don’t seem to make sense any more. Read this interesting article Is the data center in the Cloud or is the Cloud in the data center?
There’s a lot of buzz stating that Cloud Computing and Big Data are synonymous. See a Forbes article here stating that ”
“Big data is the new cloud computing.”
This sentiment was recently expressed in an interview with Motley Fool analyst Tim Beyers, who analyzed the zeitgeist coming out of the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) conference and observed that cloud computing and big datawere now one in the same phenomena, converging on enterprises of all shapes and sizes.”
For those who don’t know what big data is, this Intel Video gives you a “Big Data 101” primer.
The Cloud definitely provides a cost effect and timely way to go after big dataproblems and then using the elasticity of the cloud’s IaaS foundation, dump the costly resources when you’ve finished or allow them to grow only when needed. But they are not one and the same. Big Data is just the current “Bell of the ball” for enterprise usage of the Cloud. See below Gartner’s Hype Cycle for emerging technologies 2012. This shows we are either in or approaching the “Trough of Disillusionment” regarding Reduce Map and the offerings of DBSaaS. I’m eager to apply some innovative ideas I have regarding the trip out of this trough on some upcoming projects.
The Future Work is an attempt to show how enterprises need to adapt to the changes in order to stay relevant in 2014 and beyond. Check out these links and judge for yourself if Intel and Microsoft are headed in the right directions.
Here is a copy of Ballmer’s internal email to all Microsoft employees:
From: Steve Ballmer To: MS FTEs Date: Sep. 2, 8:00 PM PDT (Sep. 3, 6:00 AM EET) Subject: Accelerating Growth
We announced some exciting news today: We have entered into an agreement to purchase Nokia’s Devices & Services business, which includes their smartphone and mobile phone businesses, their award-winning design team, manufacturing and assembly facilities around the world, and teams devoted to operations, sales, marketing and support.
For Microsoft, this is a bold step into the future and the next big phase of the transformation we announced on July 11.
We are very excited about the proposal to bring the best mobile device efforts of Microsoft and Nokia together. Our Windows Phone partnership over the past two and half years has yielded incredible work – the stunning Lumia 1020 is a great example. Our partnership has also yielded incredible growth. In fact, Nokia Windows Phones are the fastest-growing phones in the smartphone market.
Now is the time to build on this momentum and accelerate our share and profits in phones. Clearly, greater success with phones will strengthen the overall opportunity for us and our partners to deliver on our strategy to create a family of devices and services for individuals and businesses that empower people around the globe at home, at work and on the go, for the activities they value most.
This is a smart acquisition for Microsoft, and a good deal for both companies. We are receiving incredible talent, technology and IP. We’ve all seen the amazing work that Nokia and Microsoft have done together.
Given our long partnership with Nokia and the many key Nokia leaders that are joining Microsoft, we expect a smooth transition and great execution.
As is always the case with an acquisition, the first priority is to keep driving through close, which we expect in the first quarter of 2014, following approval by Nokia’s shareholders, regulatory approvals, and other closing conditions.
But I also know people will have some questions about what happens post-close. While details aren’t final, here is what we know, and how we’re generally approaching integration:
1. Stephen Elop will be coming back to Microsoft, and he will lead an expanded Devices team, which includes all of our current Devices and Studios work and most of the teams coming over from Nokia, reporting to me.
2. Julie Larson-Green will continue to run the Devices and Studios team, and will be focused on the big launches this fall including Xbox One and our Surface enhancements. Julie will be joining Stephen’s team once the acquisition closes, and will work with him to shape the new organization.
3. As part of the acquisition, a number of key engineering leaders will be joining Microsoft from Nokia, reporting to Stephen in his new capacity:
· Jo Harlow, who will continue to lead the Smart Devices team
· Timo Toikkanen, who will continue to lead the Mobile Phones team
· Stefan Pannenbecker, who will lead Design
· Juha Putkiranta, who will lead the integration effort on Nokia’s behalf
4. Regarding the sales team, we plan to keep the Nokia field team, led by Chris Weber, intact and as the nexus of the devices sales effort, so that we can continue to build sales momentum. After the deal closes, Chris and his team will be placed under Kevin Turner. We will develop a single integrated team that is selling to operators, and there may be other integration opportunities that we can pursue. Kevin will work with Chris Weber and Chris Capossela to make those plans.
5. Our operating system team under Terry Myerson will continue unchanged, with a mission of supporting both first-party and third-party hardware innovation. We are committed to working with partners, helping them build great products and great businesses on our platform, and we believe this deal will increase our partner value proposition over time. The established rhythms and ways of working between Terry and his team and the incoming Nokia team will serve us well to ensure that we do not disrupt our building momentum.
6. We are planning to integrate all global marketing under Tami Reller and Mark Penn. It is very important that we pursue a unified brand and advertising strategy as soon as possible.
7. Finance, Legal, HR, Communications, DX / Evangelism, Customer Care and Business Development will integrate functionally at Microsoft. Sourcing, customer logistics and supply chain will be part of Stephen’s Devices organization. ICM / IT will also integrate functionally for traditional IT roles. We will need to work through the implications for factory systems given the differing manufacturing processes and systems at both Nokia and Microsoft.
8. We plan to pursue a single set of supporting services for our devices, and we will figure out how to combine the great Nokia efforts into our Microsoft services as we go through the integration process.
9. There are no significant plans to shift where work is done in the world as we integrate, so we expect the Nokia teams to stay largely in place, geographically.
10. Tom Gibbons will lead the integration work for Microsoft.
While today’s announcement is big news, we have to stay heavily focused on running the current business. We have a huge fall and holiday season ahead of us, so we need to execute flawlessly and continue to drive our business forward. I have no doubt we will.
Both Intel and Google are eyeing the lucrative video delivery domain for possible new expansions. This area if done properly by these two giants could provide a major disruptive technology and business set of offerings changing the face of the computer and TV industries. This may become the major “big stakes” battlefield of the next-gen TV services domain space.
Apple is probably thinking in terms of the “next generation” TV service. With its feet already wet via You Tube, they are giving strong signals that hey are serious about becoming players in this domain.
If able to pull it off, Intel will evolve to the next instantiation of this historic enterprise. This launch (probably 2014-ish) will challenge Intel’s ability to break away from its old internal models and practices to re-invent the enterprise to deal with content as an additional vehicle to achieve revenue goals rather than just HW. If OnCue is allowed to operate as an independent company with separate iMBOs, they may have a chance. The new blood recruited from various media sectors can help if they are given free reigns to establish a separate Intel subculture. Has that ever really worked before for Intel????
This is a very interesting slide deck on Internet Trends. Specifically when you dissect digital media into audio, photo, video and audio you see we are just at the beginning of a huge growth in demand for Cloud Services to support our digital lifestyle. When you combine what we want digitally with how we use it and socialize using it, the volume of digital content will grow at an unbelievable rate through 2035. internettrends052913final-130529094939-phpapp02
The dramatic growth in smartphone, tablet and vertical market portable devices e.g., medical instrumentation is starting to drive major change at big tech companies. If you watch product offerings and new positioning of Google, Microsoft, and Apple, you’ll see that significant investments are geared toward the mobile consumer and mobile information worker. These products require new device technologies such as flexible silicon and Thin flexible substrates for interconnect technology.
A good example of this is the lighting fast reorganization of Intel after Brian Krzanich’s installation as CEO. Under Otellini’s tenure Intel missed a huge opportunity to become the chip supplier to Apple for iPhones even though the traditional conservative “number crunching/data driven” advice given to Paul Otellini went against his gut, Intel passed on the opportunity. Their analysis misjudged the potential volume by a factor of 100 and over estimated the costs of manufacturing. Basically the conservative mindset of “group think” there projected the iPhone as a losing business proposition. See here The new CEO has immediately reorganized the global enterprise to make it more agile and created a New devices Group reporting directly to him. See here
Hopefully this will open Intel up to address new markets and new types of Si architecture along with manufacturing processes. Also the industry will hopefully follow Intel’s lead and innovate even more in this hot technology domain When you look at flexible silicon and thin film technologies, the future is clear. New companies will grow to tech giants that embrace this technology and benefit from lessons learned from the old tech giants.