Microsoft announced today in a press release, that it’ll be investing $5 billion in the Internet of Things over the next four years. The company went on to explain why it is making such a huge investment in the IoT space – aside from the fact that it’s a booming industry right now. Microsoft wants to “give every customer the ability to transform their business, and the world at large, with connected solutions.” This is part of the new Microsoft that is moving away from simply being a software company with its Windows and Office products, and providing hardware in addition to the laptops and tablets it already sells in its Surface lineup.

In the press release, Microsoft also mentioned a few examples of what its customers are using IoT devices for. Which include delivering electricity to schools in Africa, improving worker safety on job sites and even driver safety on Alaskan roadways. And that’s really just scratching the surface of what IoT is capable of. While many see IoT as a way to get everything connected, including connected thermostats, connected appliances and such, it can do so much more, to better the world around us.

Currently, Microsoft already offers what businesses need to get started with IoT. This ranges from operating systems for some devices, as well as cloud services to control and secure these products. That’s using Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform of course, which is becoming a popular tool for Microsoft these days, especially as it is looking to compete with Amazon’s AWS and Google Cloud. Microsoft also offers some advanced analytics for developers to gain insights and some business applications. Microsoft says that it has already seen some great traction with the IoT offerings it already has available. By committing to invest $5 billion into IoT over the next four years, Microsoft is making sure that its customers know that it won’t be ditching the platform anytime soon, in fact it’ll be the opposite.