I have been setting back watching Microsoft struggle to maintain any presence in the market related to "what's next" in the internet of things or IoT as people like to write it. The IoT is all about trying to get rid of large computer systems doing lots of things, and instead create smaller computer systems doing dedicated things. This has been possible for decades now using micro controllers like the MicroChip brand PIC micro controllers and many others. Those devices provide several key interfaces such as serial ports and analog and digital I/O.
The Microsoft Windows, old OPC (OLE for Process Control) stuff is still popular in the industry just because people believe that as a standard, it will "just work" for them. The update to that, OPC-UA which attempts to open the standard by removing OLE and the COM/DCOM based communications mechanisms and use networking transports on top of TCP/IP networks is still popular. But, it is still running on proprietary implementations. The standard is not open to the public, only to payed members of the OPC foundation.
Now, we have things like IFTTT (IF This, Then That) as well as just general, RestFUL interfaces to lots of different things. Devices are going to be doing less and less using protocols like Modbus.
On this page, https://dev.windows.com/en-us/featured/raspberrypi2support
, Microsoft mentions the much discussed availability of Windows 10 on Arm and specifically the RaspPI-2. If Microsoft is only going to make Windows-10 free for developers to use to target the PI and they don't have a plan for how to put PIs running Windows "out there", what are developers going to do?
Windows is typically viewed as an general application platform more than a dedicated application platform. I don't think that developers want to create software for a small platform that is expensive. There are already plenty of embedded windows platforms for doing that.
Developers will want to sell $50 solutions in the IoT, not $500 solutions that they have to sell now. That price point is keeping things from happening. All the home automation platforms that are going for $300 to $500 or more keep the masses from jumping in.
Things like Open Z-Wave and other automation platforms help make it easier to create viable products. But, they still require $100 USB radios and other excessive costs.
I am not going to hold much open of Microsoft getting into the IoT in any large sense except because of particular developers picking the Windows platform for IoT management apps. Windows won't be running on the majority of devices in the IoT until Microsoft understands that it's not the OS that makes money, but rather having intelligent designers providing platforms and solutions for solving problems with software.