(Bloomberg) -- As Europe’s industrial companies attempt to modernize production with sensors and software, Microsoft Corp. is trying to grab a piece of the spending.

The U.S. software giant is launching a new lab in Munich --following openings in Redmond, Washington and Shenzhen, China-- for customers investing in the so-called Internet of Things, the idea that everything from refrigerators to industrial robots will be connected to the internet. The move follows similar ploys by Cisco Systems Inc. and IBM, who have also picked Germany to locate technology-focused labs.

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