Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Microsoft acquires Express Logic

Steve Rogerson
May 2, 2019
Microsoft has acquired software firm Express Logic for an undisclosed sum. The California company specialises in producing a real-time operating system (RTOS) that works in small edge devices.
Express Logic’s Thread X RTOS has more than 6.2 billion deployments, making it one of the most deployed RTOSs in the world, according to VDC Research. This popularity is driven by demand for technology to support resource-constrained environments, especially those that require safety and security.
“I am incredibly excited to share we have acquired Express Logic, a leader in RTOS for IoT and edge devices powered by microcontroller units,” said Sam George, director for Azure IoT.
Manufacturers building products across a range of categories – from low capacity sensors such as light bulbs and temperature gauges to air conditioners, medical devices and network appliances – leverage the size, safety and security benefits of Express Logic software to achieve faster time to market. Even highly constrained devices that are battery powered and have less than 64kbyte of flash memory can use Express Logic software.
Over nine billion of these MCU-powered devices are built and deployed globally every year, many of which can benefit from the software.
“With this acquisition, we will unlock access to billions of new connected endpoints, grow the number of devices that can seamlessly connect to Azure and enable new intelligent capabilities,” said George.
Thread X RTOS joins Microsoft’s growing support for IoT devices and is complementary with Azure Sphere, its security offering in the microcontroller space. The goal is to make Thread X available as an option for real-time processing requirements on an Azure Sphere device and enable Thread X-powered devices to connect to Azure IoT Edge devices when the IoT service calls for edge computing capabilities.
“While we recommend Azure Sphere for customers’ most secured connections to the cloud, where Azure Sphere isn’t possible in highly constrained devices, we recommend Express Logic’s Thread X RTOS over other RTOS options in the industry because of its additional certifications and out-of-the-box connectivity to Azure IoT Hub,” said George.
He said the primary goal was to simplify IoT from the cloud all the way down to the smallest MCU based devices.
“We do this by meeting our customers where they are with the right developer tools, software and intelligent cloud services to manage their solutions at scale,” said George. “Express Logic’s technology and team will be an incredible addition to Microsoft in our quest to give every customer the ability to transform their businesses, and the world at large, with connected solutions.”
William Lamie, CEO of Express Logic, added: “Effective immediately, our Thread X RTOS and supporting software technology, as well as our talented engineering staff join Microsoft. This complements Microsoft’s existing premier security offering in the microcontroller space.”
He said the significant growth of the IoT provided exciting new opportunities for the company’s customers and the embedded market overall.
“Now, as part of Microsoft, we believe our customers will be even better positioned to unlock exciting new capabilities of the IoT,” said Lamie. “We look forward to continuing our efforts to help simplify embedded IoT development and continuing to build customer loyalty by helping our customers get to market quicker with solutions that are simple, safe, secure and that can take full advantage of the IoT.”
Express Logic was founded in 1996.