Microsoft has joined the AllSeen Alliance, a group of technology companies whose goal is to assure that devices that connect with each other to constitute the Internet of Things can actually connect together.

The AllSeen Alliance is yet another interest group that relies entirely on broadband services but which has failed to attract the direct participation of broadband providers, although CableLabs is a sponsored member.

The AllSeen Alliance was established just last December to address a major challenge facing the Internet of Everything: there is no common way for ostensibly connected devices “to autonomously discover and interact with nearby products regardless of their underlying proprietary technology or communications protocols,” as the Alliance describes it. Alliance members are collaborating on a universal software framework, based on open source code (called AllJoyn), which would enable that to happen.

Pulling in Microsoft has the potential to be a major boost to the group’s aspirations, considering that Microsoft represents over 1 billion Windows-based devices in the market, including PCs, smartphones, and game consoles.

Microsoft joins Haier, LG, Panasonic, Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Sharp, Silicon Image, Technicolor and TP-Link as Premier Members of the Alliance, in addition to 42 Community Members. That group includes Cisco, D-Link, and HTC.

“We’re delighted to welcome Microsoft to the AllSeen Alliance,” said Liat Ben-Zur, Chairman of the AllSeen Alliance. “No single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the Internet of Everything in everyday, real-life scenarios. Microsoft’s strong presence in the home via computers, tablets, phones, gaming platforms and their strength in the consumer, enterprise, education, industrial automotive sectors, uniquely enables them to accelerate the adoption of the AllSeen Alliance’s AllJoyn open source code across a very wide swath of products and verticals.”

“Microsoft believes that the Internet of Things is not a futuristic notion but is here today in the devices, sensors and cloud infrastructure all around us,” said Kevin Dallas, General Manager, Operating Systems Group, Microsoft. “But in order to make the Internet of Things truly successful, there are challenges to be addressed in securely connecting and managing all these devices and interacting with cloud services and machine-generated data. We believe the AllSeen Alliance is a very important effort to collaboratively address these challenges, and we’re excited about joining the initiative.”