Microsoft has joined the AllSeen Alliance, which is building an open source framework for connecting homes, cars and mobile devices.
The AllSeen Alliance was founded in December to address a major challenge facing the so-called Internet of Things -- making sure connected devices and objects can work together regardless of brand, OS or other infrastructure considerations. The work is based on the Qualcomm-developed AllJoyn framework. So far, proprietary approaches to connecting devices have created one silo after another, according to the Alliance.
Microsoft is a notable addition to the alliance. Even if the post-PC era has been hard on the company, there are still a lot of Windows devices as well as Xbox game consoles out there. With the help of the framework developed by the Alliance, those devices could be used as part of a connected home, for example.
The alliance's vision of a world where devices in homes, offices and cars can talk to each other stands in contrast to the walled gardens built by companies such as Apple and Google, which aren't members of the group. Last week at the I/O developer conference, Google talked about its own Internet of Things where smartphones, cars, TVs and smartwatches using its Android OS talk to each other.
With the addition of Microsoft, the AllSeen Alliance roster now totals 51 members, including Cisco Systems, D-Link, LG Electronics, Panasonic and Sharp, which are all building out the AllJoyn open source framework.