Microsoft and Samsung talk up some kind of IoT partnership

In a sign of how early we still are in the evolution of consumer IoT, talk of Microsoft and Samsung’s IoT partnership at CES 2016 was high on rhetoric but low on detail.

IoT was a major theme of Samsung’s keynote, which you can watch in all its hour-long glory below. Samsung not only makes devices but also components and some networking equipment, so it considers itself strongly positioned to be a major IoT player.

The inevitable smart fridge made yet another appearance, with the Family Hub featuring a 21.5-inch screen and internal cameras so you can check if you’ve run out of something remotely from your phone. Samsung seems to think such a fridge can be some kind of domestic nucleus thanks to all this extra gadgetry but concepts like that have been slow to capture the public imagination.

The focus then moved onto cross-industry collaboration, which is where Microsoft got a mention. “Unlocking the value of the IoT is an amazing opportunity for all of us: as consumers, as businesses and as society,” said Dr. Won-Pyo Hong, head of Samsung’s solutions business. “When we all work together, IoT can be in sync with real life.”

Blogging on the matter separately Terry Myerson, EVP of Windows and Devices at Microsoft, commented on what a great relationship Microsoft has with Samsung and how they have a “shared vision for future innovation together across the entire Internet of Things.”

We believe in an open platform, enabling choice – and working with the broad range of apps, devices, and form factors,” said Myerson. “This approach, built on open technologies, protocols and ecosystems, allows all things and devices to participate, without having to replace the technologies developers and device makers have already invested in.”

Incidentally Samsung has also just announced its preliminary financials for Q4 2015, with revenue of 53 trillion won and profits of 6.1 trillion falling a bit short of analyst expectations, with weak demand for its smartphones thought to be among the reasons for the shortfall. Samsung shares don’t seem to have moved much in either direction on the news.


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