Today in APIs: Microsoft Touts Windows 10's IoT Strength

Microsoft says its Windows 10 is for the Internet of Things, and touts Office 365 as a valuable API. Data ownership is muscling in on the public API. Plus: IBM heralds its growing API ecosystem, and Netagio Exchange launches an API.

Microsoft Indicates It's a Player in the IoT

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella argued at the recent Gartner Symposium ITxpo that Windows 10 was a tool for integrating the Internet of Things and that its Office 365 was its most strategic API.

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As Larry Dignan writes in ZDNet, Windows 10 is the center of many parts of the Microsoft strategy. One focus is the cloud:

Nadella said Microsoft's strength in the cloud is the ability to bring most things. But the most strategic API in the company is Office 365 and its extensions. That Office API even trumps Azure's. Office extensibility and data has led to billions of identity transactions in Azure Active Directory. Nadella said Azure has to keep up with Amazon Web Services, but Microsoft's strength is its hybrid cloud technology. System Center and other enterprise tools can connect directly into Azure.

As companies seem to do increasingly these days, Microsoft is cannibalizing its own products, and sees Exchange being sacrificed to Windows 365.

The Public API Faces Competition From its Private Twin

The public API, long heralded as the tool for getting the word out about the data you have to offer, is increasingly being supplanted by private APIs whose audience is much more selective. Names such as Twitter and Netflix have been prominently featured (and often chastised) for making the switch. As Tracey Wallace writes in Smart Data Collective, going viral with your data isn't the goal it used to be:

The goal for websites is changing, and companies and platforms across the web are making a quick pivot to address the new benchmark: high engagement and loyalty. This also applies to the public API marketplace, where brands once shared public APIs freely with the intention of gaining page views or brand awareness through a third-party. Today, pageviews and brand awareness simply aren’t enough, nor are these the metrics that modern innovators are measuring against. Instead, engagement, or customer lifetime value, is taking over as the metric to beat, and private APIs are proving more beneficial for the likes of Twitter, Netflix, ESPN and more.

In some ways this reminds me of scarcity strategies with consumer goods, most famously deployed with Tickle Me Elmo, a cuddly child's toy where demand for it around the holidays one year was stoked by constraining supply. Is the iPhone a bigger example? In any case, with regard to private APIs, by selectively picking partners rather than committing to ubiquitous availability, Big Data providers and others can have more control over the quality of the end User Experience.

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Be sure to read the next Internet of Things article: Today in APIs: Oceanleap Plunges Into API Platform for Wearables