One thing is clear: Microsoft has to be in the hardware business and their Surface release and Nokia acquisition are proof. For years we’ve heard of Microsoft in the home without anything to show for it. Both Apple and Google have started their home automation releases. Microsoft has…well started talking about the internet of thing more. Yeah, they need hardware. Microsoft recently announced Insteon would be sold in their stores.
This is a natural acquisition for them. They’ve already integrated the hardware with Windows software. And it’s a complete line of hardware. So why not let them succeed in their own? Well they lack recognition and with multiple small competitors its just a fragmented niche market. Also, if Microsoft owned it they get the benefit of marketing and name recognition, with a single mass push. Now they’re a company geeks know but if Microsoft bought them they’d be the new Microsoft Home line. Synergy…
Microsoft needs to grow and think of the profit you make when you sell hardware and software (think of the margins on an iPad versus a Windows 8 license).
Anyway, you can see the current hardware line Microsoft is showing off her: http://www.microsoftstore.com/store?SiteID=msusa&Locale=en_US&Action=DisplayProductSearchResultsPage&result=&keywords=insteon
I’m betting Microsoft buys them this calendar year.