Microsoft has announced it will invest $5 billion in the IoT over the next 4 years in an effort to ‘give every customer the ability to transform their businesses, and the world at large, with connected solutions’.

The company claims that it’s been investing in IoT before the term was even coined, and is now planning to dedicate ‘even more’ resources to research and innovation in IoT, which it says is ‘evolving to be the new intelligent edge’.

According to Microsoft, it’s seeing the increased adoption and exponential growth that analysts have been forecasting for years, and apparently, it’s ‘only just getting started’.

A.T. Kearney predicts IoT will lead to a $1.9 trillion productivity increase and $177 billion in reduced costs by 2020. Microsoft believes this effect will be pervasive, from connected homes and cars, to manufacturers, smart cities and utilities—and everything in between.

This increased investment will support continued innovation in its technology platform, Microsoft adds, and the company intends to continue research and development in key areas. This includes securing IoT, creating development tools and intelligent services for IoT and the edge, and investments to grow its partner ecosystem.

Microsoft says that companies such as Steelcase, Kohler, Chevron, United Technologies and Johnson Controls are all already innovating with its IoT platform, launching products, solutions and services that ‘transform’ their business.

With each of these new implementations, Microsoft says that it’s witnessing a ‘unique transformation’, along with gaining insight into how both customers and partners overcome the specific challenges of building an IoT solution that harnesses massive amounts of data.

Although Microsoft is looking to spend $5 billion, it hasn’t given specifics on this spend, which is understandable. The company appears to be waiting to see what will happen in the next 4 years with this intelligent edge and what will be a worthwhile investment.