Microsoft hasn't given up on home-automation after all, as some Windows loyalists had feared.
The Redmond-based company is working with Johnson Controls on a new thermostat that runs Windows 10 IoT Core, uses Cortana voice activation, and makes use of Azure cloud services on the back end to provide insights around air quality and more.
On July 19, Microsoft posted a short YouTube clip, called Reinventing the Thermostat, which showed off the coming GLAS thermostat.
I asked Microsoft officials for more details, such as pricing and availability. No response so far. There's also nothing about the GLAS on the Johnson Controls site that I could find.
Update (July 20): A spokesperson for Johnson Controls sent the following statement to me via e-mail:
"In partnership with Microsoft technology, GLAS is a simple to use thermostat that brings leading energy savings and air quality monitoring to everyday spaces. Additional information about the launch of GLAS will be announced later this year."
The spokesperson declined to provide any information regarding where the device would be sold or pricing (two questions I asked). However, I did hear from a couple of attendees of Microsoft's Inspire conference who said the device was being shown off there. They said they believed the thermostat would be available before the end of this calendar year and would be priced like a premium device (one person said that could mean $300 or so).
Microsoft officials said back in December that any devices running Windows 10 IoT Core had to include screens. As of the Windows 10 Creators Update release in March, Cortana was available to all Windows 10 IoT devices with displays.
Devices without screens/displays, like the coming Harman Kardon Cortana speaker, are not eligible to run Windows 10 IoT inside. The Harman Kardon speaker, Invoke, coming later this year is Linux-based.
Microsoft rivals Amazon and Google have been working on a variety of smart-home services and devices powered by their respective clouds.