General Electric Co. (IW500/6) doesn’t just make jet engines, wind turbines and locomotives anymore. It now makes data centers — that also happen to power airplanes, harness wind energy and ride the rails.
Connecting these machines is a GE software platform that could underpin an Industrial Internet ecosystem resembling Apple Inc.‘s (IW500/3) intertwining operating system, computers, phones, app store and music store.
“All of our products are becoming data centers,” GE Digital Chief Executive Bill Ruh told IBD in an interview.
The iconic 124-year-old conglomerate, long synonymous with light bulbs and washing machines, is looking more like a tech company. As it shrinks its finance unit and sells its home appliance business, GE is also reinventing itself as a digital industrial company that could compete head-on with tech stalwarts like Microsoft Corp. (IW500/13), plus traditional rivals like Siemens and Honeywell (IW500/34) seeking to capitalize on the Industrial Internet.
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