When we launched Windows 10 this summer, we created a converged platform that powers a range of devices from PCs, laptops to Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Windows 10 IoT delivers a modern platform for IoT devices with enterprise-grade security from the device to the cloud, and native connectivity for machine-to-machine and machine-to-cloud scenarios with Azure IoT technology.
This May, we also announced that there will be versions of Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise for industry devices like ATMs, retail point of sale, handheld terminals, as well as a new Windows edition ‘Windows 10 IoT Core’ for small footprint, low cost devices. Today, we are excited to share that we are making feature improvements to Windows 10 IoT Core as well as making it available for our commercial builders in addition to our maker audience.
This release marks an important step in the evolution of Windows 10 IoT Core for our Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM)/ Original Device Manufacturers (ODM) partners. As part of the Windows 10 IoT edition family, Windows 10 IoT Core provides an optimized platform for building smaller and low cost industry devices like IoT gateways. It brings scale to our partners’ investments across form factors leveraging the same business ready capabilities customers expect in Windows: leading connectivity, enterprise-grade security, servicing and manageability.
Today, Windows 10 IoT Core is available to all device builders and we are working with our ecosystem partners to provide you, as a developer, with the hardware and software options you need to be successful in this market. In addition to the royalty free Windows 10 IoT Core SKU that brings automatic software updates to the devices, we are also introducing a new ‘Windows 10 IoT Core Pro’ OEM SKU that provides the ability to defer updates and control distribution of updates through Windows Server Update Services. With these servicing options, we are bringing flexibility for our partners and customers to help meet their servicing needs while helping ensuring their devices are secure and managed.
Further, there has been increasing interest from commercial OEM/ODMs to create products using maker hardware and this year, commercial/industrial solutions will consume over one third of all Raspberry Pi’s sold. To improve the usability of the Raspberry Pi technology for these efforts, Raspberry Pi Trading and Element 14 announced a service to offer bespoke versions of the Raspberry Pi. We are very excited that Element 14 is offering Windows 10 IoT Core as part of their solution. This will allow makers and OEMs to start their development with Raspberry Pi 2 and, when ready, produce optimized versions of the platform for a commercial solution.
Finally, to make it easy to commercially license royalty free Windows 10 IoT Core for early adopter businesses, we have created a simple commercialization process to obtain free commercialization rights to ship devices.
Improving the platform
As mentioned above we have built this release with servicing options that fit different customer needs, ability to manage IoT devices with the same tools as your PCs, performance improvements and expanded the ecosystem of supported peripherals. We delivered a new ‘direct memory access bus’ driver that gives you the ability to run native code for the significant performance improvements in GPIO. You can choose whether to use this driver in the devices tab of the web configuration tool. Once running, you can expect your GPIO operations to become over 100 times faster than on the default driver. Additionally, this driver gives you the ability to use “Pin Muxing,” which allows you to choose which function to use on which pins based on the hardware support rather than the default configuration.
Many of you asked us about support for serial/UART on the Raspberry Pi and we are pleased to say that you now have full support for the TX/RX pins on the Raspberry Pi2. You can access the UART by simply calling GetDeviceSelector(“UART0”) method on the SerialDevice class. We have also included an in-box driver for the FTDI USB-to-serial chipset because many devices use that as the interface port for controlling them (for example, Home Automation Systems). Just plugging these devices in will now have them register as an available serial port.
Another common request we have seen is to support additional Wi-Fi dongles. In this release, we not only support the official Raspberry Pi Wi-Fi dongle, but also two Realtek Wi-Fi chipsets (RTL8188EU & RTL8192EU). These chipsets are included in dongles like the TP-LINK TL_WN725N, along with several other dongles. This makes connecting your Windows 10 IoT Core device to the net much easier.
We want to make it easy for you to use existing Arduino Wiring Sketches, libraries, and hardware with Windows 10 IoT Core Universal Windows Apps (UWA). Simply drag-and-drop your favorite and readily-available Arduino Wiring INO and library files into Visual Studio, connect your hardware to a Windows 10 IoT Core device, and run your code. Visual Studio and Windows will do all the heavy lifting to create a UWA and deploy it on your behalf, and you can leverage the power of Visual Studio with Windows to debug your Arduino Wiring code on your Windows 10 IoT core device. You will also be able to mix your Arduino code with other UWA technologies like C# and XAML to get the best of both worlds.
Over the last 18 months we’ve delivered Windows 10 IoT Core for the Raspberry Pi 2, DragonBoard 410C and MinnowBoard MAX, Windows Remote Arduino, Windows Virtual Shields for Arduino, Arduino Wiring and UWP Lightning providers and now made it available for our commercial partners to enable them to build new innovative devices as well.
We are continuing to evolve our commercial platform ecosystem working closely with key partners and through continued engagement with our OEMs and makers. The team is deep into its planning for our next release and your feedback will make a great difference. Download the new release available today, update your devices and tell us about your experience.
We can’t wait to see what you build!