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Microsoft Ups the Ante in IoT With Express Logic Acquisition

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Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) recently announced the acquisition of Express Logic. The buyout is in sync with the company’s aim to enhance presence in the IoT market. However, the financial terms of the deal have been kept under wraps.

Express Logic is primarily engaged in developing industrial-compliant standard real time operating systems (RTOS) powered by microcontroller units (MCUs).

Increasing utilization of MCUs in connected devices favors prospects of the agreement. In fact, per Microsoft, approximately 9 billion devices powered by MCUs are being developed and deployed globally each year.

Moreover, Express Logic’s RTOS platforms and software solutions can operate in resource-constrained and low-power environments. The robust security features enables its embedded, edge and IoT customers to reduce time to market.

Key Takeaways from the Buyout

Particularly, strength of Express Logic’s ThreadX IoT platform compelled the tech giant to pursue the deal. Going by VDC Research estimates, ThreadX RTOS platform supports approximately 6.2 billion devices globally.

Authenticating the credibility of ThreadX, Microsoft announced in the blog post that it recommends the platform for highly constrained devices where Azure Sphere cannot be utilized. However, the acquirer recommends “Azure Sphere for customers’ most secured connections to the cloud.”

The acquisition will provide Microsoft access to a plethora of robust connected endpoints. Further, Microsoft expects Express Logic’s solutions to complement connectivity of devices to various Azure offerings to drive new innovative edge capabilities.

Specifically, Microsoft aims to make ThreadX RTOS increasingly complementary with Azure Sphere devices. Notably, the tech giant rolled out Azure Sphere solution in April 2018 to enable developers in designing highly-secured and connected MCU devices.

What Investors Should Know?

Shares of Microsoft have returned 31.6% in the past year, outperforming the industry’s rally of 27.4%.

Microsoft has been making concerted efforts to democratize the benefits of IoT. In April 2018, the company announced investment of “$5 billion in IoT and the intelligent edge over the next four years.”

Express Logic acquisition is in sync with the company’s goal of capitalizing on the high-growth IoT market.

Notably, IDC expects worldwide IoT spending to reach $745 billion in 2019, representing year-over-year increase of 15.4%. The analyst firm expects the tally to hit $1 trillion in 2022. Further, connected devices are anticipated to exceed 20 billion units by 2020, per Gartner.

IoT sensors majorly help maintain connectivity in this era of smart devices. We believe Express Logic buyout reinforces Microsoft’s IoT ambitions, providing robust tools and platform to developers.

Moreover, the company stands to gain from strengthening Azure Sphere, Azure IoT Edge, Azure IoT Central, and other solutions with core IoT and edge capabilities of Express Logic.

Consequently, enhanced Azure’s solutions are expected to aid Microsoft in improving its competitive position against peers in cloud computing including Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) , Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) , IBM (IBM - Free Report) , among others.

Currently, Microsoft carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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