Microsoft staffs up its evolving Internet of Things team

Microsoft's Windows Embedded team seemingly has a new name, and may be expanding to have a broader charter.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is staffing up its Internet of Things (IoT) team that is part of its unified Windows division and may be expanding its charter, as well.

The IoT team, at least originally, was the renamed Microsoft Embedded team, according to a couple of sources of mine. Microsoft management moved the Embedded team from under the Windows Server group to the unified Windows org under Microsoft Executive Vice President Terry Myerson last fall.

Up until now, Microsoft's Windows Embedded team has focused primarily on enterprise/industrial customers, not consumers. Its charter has been to convince retail, healthcare, manufacturing and automotive shops to embed various flavors of Windows in their devices.

But the IoT team may soon be spreading its wings -- at least according to a couple of LinkedIn profiles of recent additions to the group.

Steve Teixeira became the Partner-level Director of Program Management for the IoT team as of December 2013, according to his profile.


Teixeira formerly was Director of Program Management for the Visual Studio Platform team. He also was one of the leaders in the Developer Division's Technical Computing Group and Parallel Computing platform. (Before joining Microsoft, he worked at Borland on Delphi and C++ Builder.)


Another Microsoft veteran, Jonathan Smith, also joined the IoT team recently (January 2014), according to his LinkedIn profile. Like Teixeira, Smith was a former member of the Microsoft Developer Division's technical computing effort. (Technical Computing was where many of the employees whom Microsoft acquired back in 2009 when it bought Interactive Supercomputing ended up.)

Most recently, Smith was Group Program Manager for Windows Azure Engineering. He also previously served in various Program Manager roles for "every release of WIndows from Windows 2000 through Windows 7," according to his LinkedIn profile.

In his LinkedIn profile, Teixeira described the role of the IoT team as building "the operating systems and cloud services that power non-PC/tablet/phone/console 'things' such as industry devices, wearables, automobiles, consumer electronics, etc. We enable intelligent systems to be built from these things across a broad range of industry verticals."

The mention of services is interesting here (given the IoT team is part of the operating systems team, not Azure or Executive Vice President Qi Lu's applications and services group). I'm also interested in Teixeira's mention of wearables, given the Windows Embedded team, as I mentioned above, hasn't addressed the consumer space to date.

I noted last fall that Alex Kipman is now believed to be heading up the software side of Microsoft's wearables effort. Kipman works for Myerson on the operating systems team. Kipman is credited as one of the main visionaries behind Microsoft's Kinect sensor and has been heading up Xbox incubation for the past few years. (He previously worked on MSBuild and Vista Ultimate.)

I asked Microsoft officials whether IoT is simply the new name for the Embedded team or if it's a more broadly focused group that encompasses Embedded. I was told the team had nothing to say on either question at this time.

I'll be interested to see how and if the IoT team ends up working with Microsoft Research. As I blogged previously, the Microsoft researchers have been doing a lot of work around the HomeOS concept

Last fall, researchers noted they have built a prototype storage system for data generated by connected devices and applications in the home. That storage system, codenamed "Bolt," currently supports local, Azure and Amazon S3 storage, and integrates directly with HomeOS, according to a research paper published last November.

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