Microsoft's Windows 8 announcement introduces native support for Bluetooth v4.0. Bluetooth v4.0 enabled products running the Windows 8 operating system, such as the new Surface tablet, will be Bluetooth Smart Ready products, enabling them to connect to familiar Bluetooth devices, like wireless speakers, and to the next generation of ultra power-efficient Bluetooth Smart products now coming to market. Last weeks' Microsoft announcement is an acknowledgement of the massive Bluetooth ecosystem and strong consumer demand for secure, convenient wireless connectivity the technology provides," said Suke Jawanda, Bluetooth SIG CMO. "With Bluetooth v4.0 incorporated into the Windows operating system, hardware and software developers will have increased opportunities to provide new devices, applications, and services for their customers. Securely feeding web services and applications with cloud friendly data via a Bluetooth connection is a key component in the shift to cloud computing and more broadly, the Internet of Things." OS-level support for Bluetooth 4.0 technology in Windows 8 allows hardware and software developers to tap into the billions-strong market of Bluetooth products in a scalable way. App developers will be able to use an API to feed data collected from Bluetooth Smart low-energy sensors, like a fitness monitor or medical device, to an application running on a Bluetooth Smart Ready product like the Microsoft Surface. The launch of Bluetooth v4.0 unleashed a wave of new Bluetooth Smart and Smart Ready devices which provide manufactures and developers the opportunity to create the next generation of devices and software applications that will transform the way consumers interact with their technology. Microsoft is the latest in a list of companies utilizing Bluetooth v4.0 and the technology's low energy capabilities, a list that also includes major brands like Nike, Samsung, Panasonic, Nintendo, Sony and Ford, among others. Bluetooth technology's massive ecosystem is expected to expand remarkably within the next five years reaching 20 billion cumulative Bluetooth enabled device shipments by 2017.