GE and Microsoft are partnering to bring GE’s Predix platform for the Industrial Internet to the Microsoft Azure cloud. Predix is GE’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform and is already available on the Amazon and Oracle clouds. Industry analysts expect that Microsoft’s partnership with GE will help to make Azure a competitor for IoT driven businesses.
Microsoft has said that it will integrate other popular applications like Office365 and Cortana with Predix as part of the partnership agreement.
According to Gartner, 6.4 billion connected things are expected to be in use worldwide this year, and that number is predicted to climb to more than 20 billion by 2020. State and local governments are some of the largest users of connected devices as part of smart city efforts, utility services and other IoT enabled processes.
GE says being on Azure will allow Predix users to gain broader access to additional capabilities such as natural language technology, artificial intelligence, advanced data visualization and enterprise application integration.
The deal represents the first strategic partnership between Microsoft and GE. A developer preview will be released toward the end of 2016, and Predix on Azure will be commercially available by the second quarter of 2017.