Microsoft invests $5 billion in new IoT strategy

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microsoft announce $ 5 billion iot investment over next four years

Microsoft has outlined plans to make a substantial investment in IoT technology, setting aside $ 5 billion to grow its partner ecosystem, develop a more intelligent edge environment, and build on existing products and services.

In a move similar to Dell’s in New York last October, Microsoft will be revamping its IoT strategy over the next four years. Although the software giant has been invested in the space for years, booming adoption and exponential growth – long predicted by analysts – means that, in its own words, Microsoft is “just getting started.”

In a company blog post outlining the move, Julia White, CVP of Microsoft Azure, set out how fresh investment and R&D will make Microsoft ideally positioned to work with customers of all sizes and industries. “Our goal is to give every customer the ability to transform their businesses, and the world at large, with connected solutions,” she wrote.

Read more: VMware partners with Axis, Wipro on new IoT edge range

Investing at the edge

The $ 5 billion investment will be spread across IoT security, building tools and services for the IoT and the edge computing environment, and in continued growth within Microsoft’s partner ecosystem.

“Today, we’re planning to dedicate even more resources to research and innovation in IoT and what is ultimately evolving to be the new intelligent edge,” wrote White.

“With our IoT platform spanning cloud, OS, and devices, we are uniquely positioned to simplify the IoT journey, so any customer – regardless of size, technical expertise, budget, industry, or other factors – can create trusted, connected solutions that improve business and customer experiences, as well as the daily lives of people all over the world.”

Read more: An inside view of start-up factory Dell Technologies Capital

Developing a partner ecosystem

Like Dell, Microsoft acknowledges the importance of a partner ecosystem in delivering products and support to clients with differing needs.

“We’re also getting a look into how both customers and partners overcome the specific challenges of building an IoT solution that harnesses massive amounts of data. Whether they’re building products that transform the home, office, or factory floor, one thing remains clear: IoT is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary effort that spans cloud development, machine learning, AI, security, and privacy.”

Microsoft’s Azure IoT suite allows companies to develop their own use cases and experiment with connected technologies. The platform was bolstered by the launch of Azure IoT Edge last year.

Microsoft’s partner network already includes technology specialists Cisco and Hitachi and management consultants PwC and EY. It’s likely that the company’s VC arm, Microsoft Ventures, will also make further investments in the IoT space as part of the new strategy – a further echo of Dell’s recent moves.

“Today’s announcement is big – for us and for the future of IoT and the intelligent edge,” concluded White. “It positions us to support customers as they develop new and increasingly sophisticated IoT solutions, which few could have imagined just a few years ago. We can’t wait to see what comes from our customers and partners next, and we’ll have more to share throughout the year.”

Read more: HCL opens Microsoft Cortana AI Lab for Azure development

Internet of Business says

When Dell EMC launched its own IoT strategy last October in New York, it stressed a number of things: the critical role of the intelligent edge and the distributed core, the boom in connected-device uptake, and the need for investment in both the partner landscape and innovative startups. Less than six months later, Microsoft has announced a similar move – but with five times greater investment.

Alongside the growth of AI – which Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, and Apple are all pouring resources into – we can see that IoT systems are moving into the core to the new enterprise computing landscape, on both the software and hardware side of the industry.

The post Microsoft invests $ 5 billion in new IoT strategy appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Strategy Analytics crowns Sony Xperia XZ2, XZ2 Compact as battery life kings

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Strategy Analytics normally studies the performance of various manufacturers, but at Sony’s request, the analysts took on a new role – testing the battery life of “leading premium smartphones”. Here’s the competition: Sony Xperia XZ2 • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact • LG G6 Apple iPhone X • Huawei P10 • Samsung Galaxy S9 • Oppo R11 And here are the results. The Xperia XZ2 came out on top followed by the XZ2 Compact. The LG G6 narrowly beat the iPhone X for third. Here’s how the tests were performed: phones were used for 16 hours a day, including calls, texts,… – Latest articles

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Mobility Steers Apple’s New Education Strategy

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Apple on Tuesday announced a refresh of its iPad as part of a new approach to the education market. CEO Tim Cook and other Apple officials also outlined a number of new education initiatives at an event held at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. The new 32-gigabyte, 9.7-inch iPad, which will sell to consumers for $ 329 and to students for $ 299, has a more powerful processor — Apple’s Fusion A10 chip. It sports a 2048-by-1536-pixel retina display with a ppi of 264. It also supports the Apple Pencil, discounted $ 10 for the education market.
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Why for manufacturers the customer must be at the centre of the digital strategy

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It’s easy to get obsessed with technology – it is the key enabler of today’s revolution – but the harder part of the transformation is cultural.

It’s about putting the customer experience and their business outcomes at the centre of everything. That means realigning engineering, manufacturing and the supply chain around delivering a world-class sales and service experience. It means new thinking about optimising customer satisfaction and loyalty metrics such as Customer Satisfaction Scores or Net Promoter Scores rather than production efficiency.

The list of technologies that can help this realignment is endless. Manufacturers should be investing in, or at least exploring, the internet of things (IoT) and industrial automation, cloud, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, 3D printing and more. Microsoft partner Columbus recently published a major industry report exploring how these emerging technologies fit into the wider digital transformation push of manufacturers, as part of a ‘Manufacturing 2020’ strategy.

But at the heart of the revolution is data. We are putting telemetry on everything, creating a data-driven culture with a single version of the truth. Fundamentally the fourth industrial revolution is being powered by the ubiquity of IoT data coming from sensors in the factory combining with data pouring in from the outside world, such as the wealth of information being generated by smart cities, smart buildings, smart offices and even connected cars. Choosing an IoT platform is a big decision; start by identifying one that can match the scale of your ambitions.

There is another convergence that is driving business transformation. Inside the firm, the digital technologies used by IT, operations and engineering are converging. By embracing the digital transformation, manufacturers are empowering employees to be more productive in modern workplaces with apps and intelligent working methods such as the use of cobots, where employees and robots co-operate “shoulder to shoulder”.

It’s also about optimising operations through smart factories and supply chain solutions powered by intelligent edge and cloud. It means the transformation of products and business models, using insights from smart connected products, advances in modelling such as “digital twins”, and more agile end-to-end business solutions.

We see manufacturers, and individual businesses within manufacturing organisations, at various stages in their journey to servitisation, transforming products into services. Some are driving more customer engagement through traditional call centres or differentiating their product through (sometimes IoT-connected) field service. Increasingly, though, we are also seeing the transition to full “product-as-a-service”, where they sell flying hours instead of jet engines; car coatings rather than paint; water savings rather than treatment plants; and cleaning services rather than cleaning chemicals.

This journey requires that they break down the silos between internal systems such as ERP, CRM, PLM, and SCM. Instead, they need to connect “things” – people, data and processes – with more agile systems of intelligence that can keep pace with the new speed of business inherent in delivering highly tailored products and services.

Manufacturers need smart factories that can make their smart products and be at the core of much more agile supply chains. They also need intelligent shop floor solutions and business apps that augment people and address the growing skills gap in manufacturing.

IoT platforms are a key enabler, yes. But we also need big data and AI on top to provide the insights that line workers and business decision-makers need. We need both intelligent cloud and intelligent edge technologies to power robots and cobots in the factory of the future.

Big data also needs big compute to accelerate the product innovation unleashed by enhanced insights into customers, enabled by the ability to iterate through digital twins of devices, product designs, supply chains, and customer usage in digital cities. Can your legacy ERP, CRM, PLM and SCM systems keep up with the new speed of business?

At the heart of this digital world, however, lies the simplicity of customer insight. Whether you’ve got a smart product that can beam back data on customer use, or you use traditional client engagement channels, it’s those insights that will differentiate your future products and services –and decide the success or failure of your digital transformation. Latest from the homepage

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Tim Cook schools Facebook on privacy, talks upcoming campus and education strategy in new interview

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Apple’s Tim Cook sat down today with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Recode’s Kara Swisher for an interview following the company’s special education event yesterday. Cook shared more details about Apple’s vision for how tech and education will complement each other, the future of jobs, his ideas and some advice on privacy, and some choice words for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.



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Tapad Partners with Flashtalking to Create ‘Impactful Attribution Modeling Strategy’

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Tapad, a company reinventing personalization for the modern marketer, announced this week the “impactful results” of its strategic partnership with Flashtalking, the leading global independent platform for ad delivery, unification and insights.

From the official announcement:

Flashtalking is one of Tapad’s most engaged partners, using the Tapad Graph to unify cross-device engagement and identity-driven consumer behaviors for attribution modeling. The company leverages a unique identifier that, in conjunction with Tapad’s Graph, provides robust multi-touch attribution solution for its clients.

This partnership has resulted in above-industry match and bridge rates for Flashtalking and its customers. Overall, the Tapad Graph yielded a 71 percent match rate with 41 percent of converters engaging on multiple devices, highlighting the importance of cross-device measurement.

Tapad’s identity solutions provide Flashtalking with a more holistic view of global engagement. Flashtalking marries ad server log file data with the Tapad Graph to connect all interactions in the consumer journey. This enables Flashtalking to provide more accurate and impactful cross-device attribution, which ultimately enables better optimization. These achievements have led to recognition of Tapad and Flashtalking’s work by the I-COM Global Forum for Marketing, Data and Measurement.

“Tapad allows us to understand user engagement across devices and platforms at both the household or individual user level, which is extremely beneficial when providing marketers with true path to conversion and attribution,” said Steve Latham, global head of analytics at Flashtalking. “Since our relationship began, we’ve successfully leveraged Tapad data to provide more accurate, actionable insights that have helped numerous brands achieve substantial gains in media effectiveness.”

To learn more about Tapad’s identity services, click here.

The post Tapad Partners with Flashtalking to Create ‘Impactful Attribution Modeling Strategy’ appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

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GDC 2018: ‘Calamari Kid’ is an Arcade Diver with a Surprising Amount of Strategy from ‘Bean’s Quest’ Developer Kumobius

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Some of my all-time favorite mobile games have come out of Australian developer Kumobius. Games like Bean’s Quest [$ 2.99], Bean Dreams [$ 2.99], Time Surfer [$ 0.99], and of course the mega hit Duet [$ 2.99]. So of course I’m always thrilled to see what’s next from them. In an interesting twist, I’d actually seen their upcoming title Calamari Kid back at last year’s GDC when it was in just a very early state, and remember thinking to myself that it had a lot of potential. Fast forward to this year’s GDC and that potential is being realized to its fullest in the build that I was shown. You play as an adorable squid diving down a series of pre-designed levels, avoiding a host of underwater hazards as you try to make it to the pile of treasure sitting on the ocean floor. The control mechanics are really interesting, as your squid is always rotating counter clockwise but when you touch the screen he’ll rotate the other direction, so by using feathering taps you can get the squid to move straight down. This control method is super fun in practice and Calamai Kid hides a lot of strategy in its mechanics, as you’ll see on display in our hands-on video below. We should hopefully all get to experience this charming game in the next couple of months or so.


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Gartner: IoT security spend hitting $1.5 billion – but strategy poor

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Worldwide spending on Internet of Things security will hit $ 1.5 billion in 2018, a 28 per cent increase from 2017, says Gartner.

However, the analyst company warns that IoT security is being left up to business units, with a lack of overall business strategy, poor “security by design”, and little control over the technology within connected devices.

Its report, Forecast: IoT Security, Worldwide, 2018, says that IoT-based attacks are already a reality. A recent Gartner survey found that nearly 20 per cent of organisations have experienced at least one IoT-based attack in the past three years.

“In IoT initiatives, organisations often don’t have control over the source and nature of the software and hardware being used by smart connected devices,” said Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner.

“We expect to see demand for tools and services aimed at improving discovery and asset management, software and hardware security assessment, and penetration testing. In addition, organisations will look to increase their understanding of the implications of externalising network connectivity.”

These factors will be the main drivers of growth in IoT security, with spending hitting a forecast $ 3.1 billion in 2021, says the company.

How the market breaks down

Gartner explains that endpoint security spending will be roughly one-third of the value of professional services security spending this year: $ 373 million against $ 946 million. Meanwhile, gateway security spending is forecast to hit $ 186 million.

However, in 2021 professional services security spending is likely to exceed $ 2 billion, with endpoint security hitting $ 631 million, and gateway security $ 415 million.

Despite healthy year-on-year growth in worldwide spending into the next decade, Gartner predicts that the biggest inhibitor to the growth of IoT security will be a lack of prioritisation and implementation of security best practices and tools. This will hamper spending on IoT security by 80 percent: an extraordinary figure.

No co-ordinated strategy

“Although IoT security is consistently referred to as a primary concern, most IoT security implementations have been planned, deployed, and operated at the business-unit level, in cooperation with some IT departments to ensure the IT portions affected by the devices are sufficiently addressed,” said Contu.

However, coordination via common architecture or a consistent security strategy is all but absent, and vendor product and service selection remains largely ad hoc, based upon the device provider’s alliances with partners or the core system that the devices are enhancing or replacing.”

While basic security patterns have been revealed in many vertical projects, they have not yet been “codified into policy or design templates to allow for consistent reuse”, continues Gartner.

“As a result, technical standards for specific IoT security components in the industry are only now just starting to be addressed by IT security standards bodies, consortium organisations, and vendor alliances”, adds the report.

This absence of “security by design” comes from a lack of specific and stringent regulations. Going forward, Gartner expects this trend to change, especially in heavily regulated industries, such as healthcare and the automotive sector.

By 2021, Gartner predicts that regulatory compliance will be the prime influencer for IoT security uptake – hence the significant uptick in spending.

Internet of Business says

As Gartner says, spending is up, but the consistent theme in all 2018 IoT security reports has been exactly the same: users’ approach to the specific problem of securing IoT implementations is lax, device manufacturers are rushing to market to compete, and strategy is poor at board level. Meanwhile, regulations are playing catchup with the market, just as the law is years behind the advance of AI in other areas of the connected world.

Read more: Cambridge Analytica vs Facebook: Why AI laws are inadequate

The result of all this is a vacuum where security policy should be, even as people are throwing money at the problem. As the IoT grows, this poses a serious challenge to decision-makers, who are leaving the big decisions to line-of-business departments that may lack both a big-picture view and security expertise.

Hopefully, Gartner’s name and reputation will persuade more people to listen to the subtext beneath the healthy spending figures.

• Just some of our 2018 security coverage so far:-

Read more: Reports reveal critical need for IoT cybersecurity upgrade

Read more: IIoT security: How to secure the ‘Internet of Threats’, by IBM

Read more: Tenable unveils cybersecurity benchmarking tool

Read more: Vendors, users ignoring IoT security in rush to market – report

Read more: IoT ramps up cyber security risk, says in-depth report

The post Gartner: IoT security spend hitting $ 1.5 billion – but strategy poor appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Future-Proof Your Test Lab: Take the Guesswork Out Of Your Application Testing Strategy

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Plan your digital application testing around expected market changes

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, or if you work in DevOps, you’ve probably already spent a fair amount of time considering which devices you need in your lab. Testing on the right platforms is key to ensuring a great experience for your users. However, in the scramble to make sure your lab is up to date today, you might overlook another critical component of a successful testing strategy: planning. Planning for future changes in the market makes the difference between success today and ongoing success.

Mobile and web markets are driven by recurring patterns in both platform/OS release schedules and customer adoption of these platforms. Here are a few examples of release patterns:

In the mobile space

  • Apple typically announces a major iOS release in June for release in September
  • iOS mobile updates occur monthly – historically, these releases are 80% bugfixes and 20% feature introductions
  • Google’s OS Dev Preview for a new major Android release happens each March

Minor updates to Android  do not follow a set schedule – therefore, constant scanning of sites such as and can provide some early warning of coming changes.

In desktop browsers

  • Chrome and Firefox browsers are updated monthly
  • Safari and Edge receive 1 or 2 major updates per year

…and customer adoption patterns:

For mobile

  • When a new major Android OS is introduced, it triggers the non-Pixel vendors to update their devices to the previous major release; hence, adoption of Android “Latest -1” grows.
  • Apple pushes iOS releases to devices automatically, encouraging rapid adoption-  this increases the urgency of application testing for the new OS

Desktop browsers

  • Chrome and Firefox monthly releases are automatically updated on the users’ desktops, therefore forcing high adoption rates

Use Perfecto’s market calendars to guide your test lab updates

Armed with an awareness of these patterns in market changes, developers, testers and lab managers can be proactive, setting trigger points to update their labs as well as their project planning.  Here are some of the key market-change points:

  • March is an important month in the mobile space with its post-MWC product launches
  • June is when Google releases its next major OS version
  • June is the initial major-iOS-release developer preview
  • September is the when Apple releases its new major iOS version
  • Monthly updates to Chrome and Firefox major and beta-OS versions.

Factors reference guide helps you plan for your future cross-platform testing needs by keeping track of these market patterns and giving you the advance notice you need to avoid project-planning headaches.

Use Perfecto’s calendars to align your entire lab configuration, and project plans for 2018 for your mobile and web applications.

The Bottom Line

In this article, we have taken a look at the importance of understanding mobile and web market patterns and the benefits of planning according to these patterns.  We also highlighted the importance of being proactive and continuous planning in order to accommodate market changes and mitigate UX risks.  Perfecto’s Factors reference guide offers easy-to-use, pattern-based market calendars for both mobile and web;  we track upcoming changes in the market so you can focus on your mobile and web application testing.  

Download your copy of Factors reference guide now and future-proof your test lab!


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Digital Strategy Board Game ‘Armello’ Finally Available Worldwide on the App Store

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League of Geeks’ digital strategy board game, Armello [Free], has finally completed its long and winding path to mobile, and is out now worldwide! The game actually started as an iPad tile early in development, before its development took it to PC and consoles, where the title has grown a sizable userbase and sees a ton of content released for it regularly. But after so long, the mobile version is finally here, and you can play it on your iPhone or iPad.

This is kind of a 4X board game, where you play as one of four heroes in the kingdom of Armello. The king is dying of a corruption called the Rot, and players have several ways to win, which are basically to kill the king, cure the king of the rot, or have the most prestige points when the king dies. You earn prestige by completing actions like quests, killing the Banes that spawn, or by killing othr players on the board. Your strategy might vary based not just your character, but your particular circumstances. There’s a lot of decision-making, but the game is fairly easy to get into once you get past the tutorial prologues.

The mobile adaptation is free-to-play, and it’s a bit of a convoluted monetization scheme. You can buy new characters and customization items with in-game currency (in both soft and hard ‘premium’ variety), as opposed to just paying for the game and then DLC like on PC. However, you can also buy a subscription to unlock everything. The base price is $ 5.99 per month, but you can also go up to a year subscription for $ 35.99 per year and just unlock everything. The game does support online multiplayer to go along with the singleplayer. If you want to play for free, you’ll get access to the singleplayer and online multiplayer, so this is rather generous free offering.

We’ll have a full review of Armello soon but if you want to check the game out for yourself, you can download it for free now.


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