It seems to me that some love child of Windows Phone and Windows RT could easily become a general purpose operating system and application stack for touch-based devices and become the successor to Windows Embedded Compact as well as Windows Embedded Automotive.
If they combine WinMin + WinRT with a specialized application stack, Microsoft could easily enter this market. The biggest question is whether or not it's even worthwhile. It's not like home automation hasn't take off because of problems on the software side. I think it hasn't taken off because hardly anybody gives a rat's *.
Exactly. It's cool tech, and for a certain type of person, they'll want to install it. SmartHome is filled with products that do cool stuff with zigbee and such, but I'd venture a guess that it's a product for the 1% where the 99% have very little nerd tendencies.
I've got a programmable thermostat that seemed cool at the time, but I ended up overriding it so often I just set the temp and look for savings elsewhere. I got a bigger bang for my buck by sealing the source of drafts around the house.