Microsoft is planning something real big, which is CityNext, a global initiative intended to develop “smart cities” around the world. Microsoft Corp. has announced CityNext at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, with the intention to empower cities, businesses and citizens, to re-imagine their futures and cultivate vibrant communities. Cities are centers of industrial, economic and entrepreneurial activity, which fuel the rest of the world’s success. The plan is to help cities become more efficient by installing Microsoft products that harness cloud computing and access big data.
You may be aware that the cities increasingly encounter compelling forces, such as rapid urbanization, modernization mandates, and economic austerity pressures. According to the Microsoft Help forum, Microsoft CityNext is a big step ahead, which offers cities a vast and diverse Microsoft Partner Network of more than 430,000 technology experts around the world to create innovations and create a better tomorrow. Leveraging a broad portfolio of familiar and security-enhanced consumer to business software, devices and services, and Microsoft’s history of successful education and social programs, CityNext is a collective effort that enables cities and their people to accomplish what’s next.
As CityNext become a reality, people get access to vast databases online, and are enabled to perform real time data analytics to quickly derive insights, collaborate with one another and come to decisions. The possibilities are huge, from saving billions of dollars, to saving lives during an emergency. Though it will take time to bring to bear cost effective techniques, Microsoft is really working hard on this. Of course, it will take a while to develop such cost-reduction technology.
Microsoft had first announced Barcelona and Spain as a CityNext customer. In addition to these two cities, they announced eight other CityNext customers namely; Zhengzhou and Hainan Province in China; Auckland, New Zealand; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Hamburg, Germany; Manchester, England; Moscow, Russia; and Philadelphia, the only U.S. city to sign up so far.
Worldwide Partner Conference
Usually, big IT companies like IBM and Cisco have smart cities associated with them. There is now another concept called Internet of Things (IoT) which is comparatively less publicized. Microsoft is planning to incorporate IoT to the connected multi-device ecosystem and is trying to build it around the Windows 8 operating system.
Access Information On The Go, or simply mobile access, is the in-thing now. Though Microsoft missed out on the initial ripples of mobile apps as compared to Google and Apple, there is a strong feeling that Microsoft is intent on catching the next wave, which is the cloud apps and big data.
There are a lot of hot discussions taking place on Microsoft Help forum and other online sites about CityNext and IoT. Visit these online sites and forums to know more on this.