Colin Miller wrote about how .NET Micro Framework fits together with desktop .NET Framework and Microsoft Windows Azure-hosted Web Services using DPWS (Devices Profile for Web Services):
Today, we see a proliferation of applications that include connected devices. In fact, the “Internet of Things” (devices connected over the Internet) is already estimated to be larger than the World Wide Web in terms of endpoints and is projected to grow to an order of magnitude larger in the next few years.
In the near future, we’ll be interacting with more intelligent devices instead of recognizable computers. Just look around your house. The things that can be usefully connected include your appliances (for energy management, software updates and maintenance); your car (for coordination on recharging your new electric vehicle with the grid, automatic testing and maintenance and software updates); your irrigation system (for scheduling based on weather reports and water management); your pets (to determine their location and configure invisible fencing); your thermostat (for remote control); and much more.