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April 5, 2016

Windows 10 IoT @ //Build 2016

At //Build 2016 last week, we had great engagement with our Windows developers and want to share that experience with you. All of this started in February, when we were honored to be part of the Raspberry Pi 3 launch. It was a great opportunity to highlight our commitment to Windows 10 and the Raspberry Pi community. We’ve seen incredible demand for the Raspberry Pi 3 version of Windows 10 directly and through NOOBS. It was also an opportunity for us to talk about how we’re expanding support for commercialization of Windows 10 IoT and integration with Azure IoT Suite.

I’m excited to share what we’ve been up to since then.

If we step back and think about what the ‘T’ in IoT means, it highlights the fact that Things should not only be aware of their environment, but in many cases, Things should be able to react to their environment and communicate with the people whose lives they’re improving. Being able to build a custom device and yet present the person with a rich experience has been the dream of many device builders. At //Build, we showed how you can put a display on every display-less device with our new remote display technology. This gives you the virtual ability to have that “Hollywood control room” experience for every smart device in your system. Also, if you turn this around, then you can also make any Windows 10 device into a sensor platform for another Windows 10 device.

What makes this even cooler is that Windows 10 IoT brings the value of the Universal Windows Platform to IoT devices. So, that means you can use this remote display technology from any supported language, whether it be Node.JS, Python, Wiring, or native code. In fact, you can mix and match all these languages and frameworks to build just the right IoT solution for any of the platform technologies in Windows 10. We also took the opportunity to show how you can use our new lightning driver to handle interrupts and do things like closed loop control.

Part of an IoT device being aware of its environment and reacting to it is the ability to communicate with other intelligent devices. Rather than requiring every device to be fluent in over 6 million forms of communication, we’ve been working hard on standards-based connectivity as you might have seen from our recent OCF announcement. Devices with Windows 10 can serve as the central connection point for all of your things, no matter what the ecosystem and if you’ve been building AllJoyn-based applications, not only will they continue to work, but in the future, they’ll talk to even more devices.

Windows 10 was designed around the idea of device diversity and I’m excited to announce that we’re releasing a x64-bit version of our Windows 10 IoT Core Pro edition software. This will enable OEM/ODMs to move between Windows 10 IoT Core and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise without the need to maintain a separate firmware image for their devices. Additionally, we’re making the Board Support Package for the Raspberry Pi open source (except for the UEFI parts) to help OEM/ODMs provide a customized board experience.

We’ve always been of the opinion that an IoT Device can’t be secure if it can’t be updated. In the first release of Windows 10 IoT, we brought Secure Boot and BitLocker to IoT Devices and enabled OS updating for IoT devices, and we also delivered update control to our OEM/ODM partners using the Windows 10 IoT Core Pro edition. In the near future, we’ll be supporting application updates via the Windows Store for application on Windows 10 IoT Core Pro. We’ll share more details on when the program opens, so keep checking back.

I’ve written a lot about the ‘T’ in ‘IoT,’ but we can’t forget the ‘I.’ Building internet-connected applications that can securely connect with Azure IoT Hub is easier than ever. We’re releasing a Visual Studio extension that will simplify creating devices that connect with Azure IoT hub services. With the ability to use a Trusted Platform Module to securely manage Azure keys and authenticate messages, Windows 10 based IoT devices will also be more secure.

How can I get access to these new features? You can install the Insider Preview we released at //Build 2016, or you can get access through the newly supported Raspberry Pi installer (NOOBS). We’re excited to have you start building with the Raspberry Pi 3 and hear about your experience.

With Windows 10 IoT, we’ve built a platform that’s easily scalable, whether you’re building things in your garage or building the next generation of commercial devices. We’re helping to bring enterprise grade security features and making the ‘I’ in IoT simple to realize.

We can’t wait to see what you make!

Written by Brett Bentsen, Partner Group Program Manager for Windows IoT