Did Microsoft and Samsung just announce an IoT deal? Nope

Microsoft and Samsung's IoT demo at CES this week was more of a concept showcase than an indicator of an actual product and services deal.

A "commitment to joint innovation" is not the same thing as a Windows 10 in your washing machine or Azure connected to your fridge.


Given the guest appearance of Microsoft Windows and Devices chief Terry Myerson on stage at Samsung's IoT-focused keynote at CES this week, one might think there was some kind of accompanying deal between the two companies. But if there was such a deal, it wasn't announced by Microsoft or Samsung. (Don't let the headlines fool you.)

Myerson, along with Windows demo expert Bryan Roper, showed off a fun -- or creepy, depending on whether you find knowing how full your kid's load of laundry was to be worth tracking -- demo of what possibly, maybe, one day might be an actual IoT collaboration between Microsoft and Samsung.

Microsoft's blog post about its "renewed partnership" with Samsung hinted at the status of the relationship. Samsung introduced a new Windows 10 tablet with its Galaxy branding -- its first new Windows 10 device since its big Android patent settlement with Microsoft last year.

But there wasn't any new news on the Samsung-Microsoft IoT product or services front. The Microsoft IoT demo during Samsung's keynote was "a potential scenario of openness and collaboration," according to the Microsoft blog post. There were no press releases from Microsoft or Samsung announcing Windows 10 washers or fridges, nor Azure-connected Samsung appliances.

When I asked Microsoft whether there was anything new on the Microsoft-Samsung IoT front, there was not. The official statement from a Microsoft spokesperson:

"We joined Samsung on stage to demonstrate the power of Windows communicating with Samsung devices. Specifically we demonstrated what can be done with the Windows Universal App platform combined with data streams from Samsung sensors around the home and in appliances. These potential scenarios could be implemented using technology that exists today and could manifest in a variety of IoT devices in the future."

From that statement, it's impossible to tell for sure what technologies, beyond a Windows 10 PC running Cortana, were part of the demo. Because of the analysis information displayed about laundry loads and usage of other appliances, I'm thinking the Cortana Analytics Suite and/or the Azure IoT Suite may have been working behind the scenes, even though neither was mentioned.

Microsoft is still building embedded versions of Windows, which, these days goes by the name Windows 10 IoT. But, as indicated by Microsoft's various automobile partnerships announced at CES this week, the focal point of Microsoft's IoT strategy now seems to be forging deals for its cloud-connected services, rather than trying to embed Windows into all the things.