Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has entered the home automation space by partnering with Insteon.

Microsoft Insteon

The software giant supported the development of an enhanced version of the Insteon app for Windows and Windows Phone 8, and agreed to sell Insteon-connected home devices at its retail stores.

Retail entry into the connected home market

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will start selling the Insteon-connected home devices at MicrosoftStore.com on June 1 and its retail stores across the country in early July, which marks the software giants retail entry into the connected home market.

The Insteon home devices allow people to transform their dwelling into a connected home. They will be able to set up lighting scenes, schedule lights to automatically turn on and off, and monitor their home from any mobile device.

In addition, the Insteon kits and modules will instantly alert homeowners when their doors and windows are opened or closed, or if there is a water leak inside the house. All of these services and more are provided to consumers through a free app with no monthly charges.

Insteon app features

The enhanced version of the Insteon app will be available on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8 devices on June 1. The app offers new features exclusively for Windows that allows users to make home automation easier.

Some of these features include the Visitor Mode, which provides restricted access to children or guests in a user’s home; Live Tiles offers status on multiple devices directly on Windows 8.1 start screen; Enhanced Camera Support allows users to view multiple cameras at once and view full-screen with camera support without the need for an Insteon hub.

Todd Brix, general manager of Windows Apps and Store at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) said, “Windows PCs, tablets and phones are supported by a rich app ecosystem that offers a variety of quality apps that take advantage of the platform’s unique features and design such as Live Tiles. The unique camera and control features in the Insteon app really come to life on both Windows and Windows Phone.”

The Insteon app also provides Multi-House Support, which allows users to control multiple houses from a single account, and the Dashboard View feature gives users a quick and organized view of the status of their homes.

Joe Dada, chief executive officer of Insteon, said, “The Windows 8.1 platform provided Insteon with an unparalleled opportunity to develop a beautiful and easy-to-use connected home experience. The Live Tile architecture is especially well-suited for home automation. Users are going to love controlling their Insteon-connected home from their Windows devices.”