back to article Microsoft, insurance giant hitched to pitch home automation

Microsoft is taking another crack at home automation, this time by backing startups with an accelerator launched in partnership with American Family Insurance. The two outfits will run a four-month accelerator program at Redmond between September and December. Redmond's announcement quotes evangelist and veep Steve Guggenheimer …

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Anonymous Coward

MS home automation?

What will that entail I wonder? Virus riddled burglar alarms? Houses that report your every movement back to MS (just an extension of the xbone I guess). Every Tuesday do you need to reboot the house? If you don't pay the license ransom, does your house lock you out? Are the windows replaced with tiles meaning you can't see out?

Sorry. The thought of MS being any where near critical things (in terms of personal privacy/comfort) like home automation worries me deeply. They have proven how willing they are to abuse the position on the desktop, don't let them abuse you in your home.

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Bronze badge

Re: MS home automation?

Software, any software, should never be in control of the safety bits of anything. This is received wisdom for anyone in the embedded game.

Working with high-voltage? humans might touch it? then don't FFS let software monitor the system ''looking for doors opening" to dangerous bits. Use a hardware interlock, two if necessary and make it impossible for the human to defeat it, at least in a simple way.

Design it to be fail-safe obviously, utilize gravity perhaps, magnetism, something generally trustworthy like that.

btw, MS know this too and their SW seems every bit as reliable to me as other SW in general and more so in many cases - my phone has never crashed for instance, the odd app maybe but not the system.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MS home automation?

"MS ... my phone has never crashed for instance, the odd app maybe but not the system."

Lucky you. Having to remove the battery on WinPhones regularly to hard-reset them was all to common for me. Not had to do that on Android (yet). Although other problems make me want to fling the 'droid out the nearest window.

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Wasn't there an "Almost Human" episode...

The hacked house killed its occupants, as I recall.

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Re: Wasn't there an "Almost Human" episode...

Maybe that's probably why they cancelled that show? (Pity - as chewing-gum for the eyes goes, it wasn't bad).

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Bronze badge
Joke

Redmond has long had a vision for the “smart home”

Yes, I think it was called "Microsoft Bob".

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Anonymous Coward

Error Handling

So every time there's a problem you have to walk outside your house then back in again?

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Microsoft playing catchup again

So this is Microsofts response to Google buying Nest.

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Meh

this is doomed for next 20 years

those of us old enough to remember real privacy when cops had to ask and most organisations minded their own business (except media) due to resource constraints if nothing else, will continue to ask the BO question, "whats in it for me ?" Sending site sensitive data such as "no-one home" to unknown and probably leaky security suppositories repositories is asking for trouble. Wont even go on about how it enables power companies to shutdown house because they don't plan ahead.

After the boomers are flower food maybe the millenials will be gullible enough to be nice enough to give the wo/man unrestricted access to their lives but who knows. They might just take their hand off it as the local car safety adds go and get a "real life" . However, the total screwing up of comms in Oz brought on by multiple govs crawling to fad merchants means no chance of systematic IOT here. Too slow for the limited traffic now unless one lives next to exchange.

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