Prediction: Microsoft buys Insteon
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.
INSTEON has been around for two decades. They are owned by Smartlabs. The same company that owns the Smarthome eCommerce/catalog site.
I have been using INSTEON products for more than 15 years to control lighting and appliances. It’s the only name I think of when talking about home automation. Not sure the brand would have the same appeal pigeonholed within the Microsoft ecosystem.
I only know of them because of the talk about the app recently. I read their profile. With that said, what do you think their sales are relative to what Apple or Google (Nest) will do in one year? Both Microsoft and Insteon can do a lot with tighter integration
Not sure. Actually, this all started with something called X10, the granddaddy of home automation, which Insteon eventually acquired. For all I know, Apple and Google are licensing X10/Insteon patents.
So I think it’s a matter of who will market their product better, and you know how that will turn out. For Insteon though, my bet is they would prefer to be compatible will all platforms, pushing their standards down. Rather than changing their standards to create a proprietary mess.