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Microsoft Joins Power Matters Alliance

Austin, Texas — Microsoft has joined The Power Matters Alliance (PMA) a month after joining the board of the rival Wireless Power Consortium (WPC).

Membership gives Microsoft access to PMA specifications for advanced wireless charging features and gives it access to “the largest public ecosystem of wireless charging spots available at popular coffee shops and eateries, including select Starbucks and McDonalds locations,” according to a PMA statement.

The move is a hedge for Microsoft as the wireless charging landscape continues to consolidate between the PMA’s Powermat spec and the WPC’s Qi standard for magnetic-resonance-based wireless charging. Both technologies have large installed user and OEM bases and are likely to coexist for the forseeable future.

More than 40 companies are members of both groups, including heavy hitters such as Asus, Haier, HTC, Huawei, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba.

“Microsoft is a great example of an innovative company that can help fuel adoption of the technology on a large scale in many different areas of consumer electronics,” said PMA president Ron Resnick. “It is critical to get the industry moving in the right direction and create as many options for consumers as possible to fuel the widespread adoption of wireless charging.”

He added, “The goal of The PMA is to serve the industry in the best way possible. To that end, we invite industry leaders from all walks to join the organization and help define the future of wireless power delivery.”

The combined global market for wireless power receivers and transmitters is expected to rise to 1.7 billion unit shipments in 2023, up from about 25 million in 2013, according to Ryan Sanderson, associate director, power supply and storage components at IHS Technology.