M2M Platforms

Microsoft Gets Deeper Into IoT

Microsoft is getting deeper into the Internet of Things (IoT) with a Windows 10 variant aimed at developers planning to make embedded devices with or without screens.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) first showed off the Windows 10 IoT Core back in the spring. Now it is introducing the public release via a company blog. Streamlined systems for IoT devices -- built on top of either the Raspberry Pi 2 CPU or the MinnowBoard MAX development board -- can utilize WiFi or Bluetooth for wireless connectivity.

The company showed off its new embedded OS by using it to build a robotic air hockey table, a video of which you'll find on the official blog.

Microsoft has made no secret of the fact that it wants Windows 10 to go beyond PCs and tablets, and straddle a slew of different devices. The IoT Core system, which is available for free download, shows Redmond's ambitions to be at the heart of forthcoming IoT devices. (See Microsoft Restructures Amidst Nokia Flop.)

For more on wireless, visit the mobile section here on Light Reading.

Of course, Microsoft is by no means alone in that ambition. Companies like Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) have been tweaking and updating their respective operating systems so that they can be used for home automation, and much more. (See Apple & Google: At War on the Home Front.)

Of course, building a device, such as an IoT lightbulb, is only part of the process. The point of an Internet of Things is networking objects together that weren't previously connected.

So developers are already working with the AllJoyn specification, initially championed by Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), to connect IoT Core devices to the network. (See Microsoft Joins Qualcomm & Friends in IoT Standards Group.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

DaveZNF 8/19/2015 | 2:14:03 PM
"Marketing" While it does look extremely low power and well suited for home application, I'm wondering if "IoT" is largely a marketing term here... as Microsoft has been providing slimmed down embedded versions of Windows for years, including some revs based on Windows CE. Back at my days as a Sling employee, we had a relationship with Microsoft and built the Catcher set-top upon their software.
DanJones 8/17/2015 | 4:40:16 PM
Re: 'cool & fun' - secure? Yeah, for sure, it looks like they're taking a similar approach to Intel in delivering stuff for free that can get developers in on the ground floor, that's my take anyway.
jbtombes 8/17/2015 | 4:36:57 PM
'cool & fun' - secure? This release is talking 'cool and fun.' I wrote something recently on IoT in the elevator industry and checked out a MSFT case study with ThyssenKrupp, so I know they can do 'secure,' too. Kind of hidden in the Windows blog article, but future of IoT depends on security, at core and app layers.
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