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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Analyst Report) is holding the first-of-its-kind Microsoft IoT Expo at the Hua Nan Bank International Conference Center in Taiwan. The company also officially launched the Microsoft IoT Innovation Center at the event.

The expo is being attended by 393 companies from across 17 countries. The event comprises 33 IoT applications showcases and 70 keynote speeches, with an emphasis on building smart cities, manufacturing, retail and life.

Why this Move?

Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding for IoT with the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Oct 2015. Since then, the company has been promoting various IoT related industries as well as talent development programs in Taiwan.

As of Sep 2016, Microsoft certified over 87 IoT devices from 22 Taiwanese companies with its Microsoft Azure Certification. We note that of all IoT devices worldwide having certifications, Microsoft’s certification comprises over 40%.

Per an IDC report, by 2020, the IoT market is expected to be worth $1.7 trillion with 30 billion connected devices.

Given the fact that Asia is rapidly emerging as a growing IoT market, Microsoft is leaving no stone unturned to expand its presence there. The company has already implemented the Azure IoT Suite in various regions in Asia. 

Intensifying Competition

We note that competition in the IoT enterprise space is gathering steam with the presence of major players such as, Inc.’s (AMZN - Analyst Report) Amazon Web Services,Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO - Analyst Report) and Alphabet (GOOGL - Analyst Report) . 

We believe that such events will help improve IoT awareness among enterprise customers in the Asia-Pacific region, which is an important business hub for Microsoft. Moreover, with Satya Nadella’s “cloud-first mobile-first” focus, Microsoft, a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock, looks well set to take the competition head on. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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