While Microsoft tries to regain its footing in the consumer market with a new Windows operating system, the company's cloud computing business keeps on rolling.
The software maker's big news this week was the launch of Windows 10. But let's not lose sight of the escalating battle with Amazon Web Services. In that game, Microsoft is now promoting itself as the cloud provider of choice for the world of connected devices.
As car companies, home security businesses and thermostat makers are linking new gadgets to the Internet, turning every screen into a connected computer, they need to not only store and manage the data in the cloud but also to capture and make sense of it all.
Read MoreMicrosoft new product launch day
On Thursday, Microsoft announced a deal with Jasper, a software developer that was preparing for the "Internet of Things" long before the term IoT existed. That follows the introduction earlier this year of the Azure IoT Suite, designed to help companies quickly troubleshoot their systems, improve efficiency and make predictions based on the information flowing off devices.
"What they're looking for is certainly cloud storage, but IoT in many ways is about leveraging the data that they're getting from products," said Macario Namie, vice president of strategy at Santa Clara, California-based Jasper, in an interview.
Jasper was founded in 2004 and works with companies including General Motors on its hands-free calling and emergency response software, Heineken with its keg inventory, and Garmin with staying up to date on traffic conditions and fuel prices.