October 4, 2018 10:00 am

Windows 10 IoT delivers innovation and intelligence at the edge with the October 2018 Update

By / Principal Program Manager, Windows IoT

Industrial worker carrying a Windows IoT device
Windows 10 IoT powers commercial-grade IoT solutions.

From the factory floors of prominent auto makers to advanced medical equipment in hospitals, Windows has a strong heritage of powering intelligent devices in industries across the globe, helping them transition to a smarter, more capable and more connected Internet of Things. The innovation roadmap for Windows 10 IoT takes another major step forward with the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, bringing edge intelligence with machine learning, industrial strength security, diverse silicon options and new monetization models for distributors and resellers.

Commercialize your devices with long-term servicing
IoT solutions can be challenging to manage over their extended lifecycles. This release of Windows 10 IoT simplifies this challenge by offering support through two servicing channels: the Semi-Annual Channel which provides new functionality with twice-per-year feature update releases and the Long-Term Servicing Channel which provides only security and quality updates with no new features over a 10-year period.

For Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, the LTSC servicing option is available with Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 LTSC. For Windows 10 IoT Core, the LTSC servicing option is available with Windows 10 IoT Core Services. The long-term servicing model is ideal for commercial IoT devices, such as point-of-sale systems, ATMs and industrial equipment controllers, which typically require the highest levels of stability and security to perform a single important task and don’t need feature updates as frequently as other types of devices.

Windows 10 IoT Core Services is a new cloud service subscription that provides the essential services needed to commercialize a device on Windows 10 IoT Core. These include long-term OS support plus services to manage device updates and assess device health. With Windows 10 IoT Core Services, device manufacturers can lower their support costs and distributors can create business models that provide recurring long-term value for their customers.

  • 10 years of OS support. Windows 10 IoT Core Services includes access to monthly updates from the Windows Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC), providing 10 years of servicing for Windows 10 IoT Core. This enables device manufacturers to maintain security and reliability while minimizing changes to the base operating system that could impact device stability.
  • Control device updates. Using the new Device Update Center portal, device manufacturers can create, customize and control updates specific to each of their device models using the same content distribution network that’s used by millions of customers to manage Windows updates. These updates can apply to the operating system, device drivers and manufacturer-specific applications and files. With Device Update Center, device manufacturers have complete control over all updates that are made available to their devices.
  • Help secure your network and IoT devices. By leveraging hardware-level security, the Device Health Attestation service evaluates the trustworthiness of a device deployed in production and produces a report verifying that the device has not been compromised. This security report can be combined with a device management system such as Azure IoT Device Management to take corrective actions like reimaging a device, denying network access, or creating a service ticket.

Azure IoT Edge support and Windows Machine Learning
Windows 10 IoT enables you to do more at the edge including machine learning, event processing, image recognition and other high-value artificial intelligence without developing it in-house. Seamless integration with Azure IoT Edge brings cloud intelligence and analytics securely to Windows 10 IoT devices at scale.

  • Move cloud workloads to the intelligent edge. Azure IoT Edge is a fully managed service that delivers cloud intelligence locally by deploying and running artificial intelligence (AI) workloads, Azure services and custom logic directly on Windows 10 IoT devices. Azure IoT Edge modules can be remotely deployed from Azure IoT Hub to an edge device running Windows 10 IoT Core or Enterprise.
  • Hardware-accelerated ML. Windows Machine Learning allows developers to use pretrained machine learning models in their applications. These models are typically trained in the cloud to be evaluated at the edge. Local evaluation on devices running Windows 10 IoT helps mitigate concerns of connectivity, bandwidth and data privacy. With Windows ML, developers can write machine learning models in the industry standard Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) format and accelerate inferencing using the CPU or DirectX 12-capable GPU from any vendor, enabling lower cost hardware platforms from a variety of vendors.

NXP silicon support
Customers are deploying IoT solutions into an increasingly varied set of environments, form factors and verticals, and they require a platform that offers an equally diverse set of silicon choices. To meet growing customer and partner demand for silicon diversity, Microsoft, in close collaboration with NXP, has added support for NXP i.MX 6, 7 and 8M series processors to Windows 10 IoT Core.

  • More hardware choices. The i.MX product portfolio is one of the most popular IoT processor families in the industry. Support for these processors enables Windows 10 IoT Core developers to create a broad variety of industrial-grade devices optimized for lower power and higher performance.
  • Create secure solutions. Windows 10 IoT Core uses the capability of NXP processors to enable trusted I/O which can ensure that malicious applications or rogue actors are unable to tamper with the physical control of a device, even if they infiltrate the operating system or application software.

Kiosk and assigned access improvements
Devices running Windows 10 IoT Enterprise can be built to serve a special purpose, such as a kiosk, digital sign, or an entertainment media tablet. Using assigned access, device manufacturers can customize the functionality exposed by kiosks and other fixed-function devices, providing a streamlined, intuitive user experience that is focused on specific tasks.

  • Enhanced status reporting. Kiosks and digital signs are often placed in public places where issues are widely seen by people. With built-in status reporting, device management systems are automatically made aware of problems and can issue corrective actions like restarting the device or dispatching a service technician.
  • Improved app management. Dedicated devices can be in diverse environments like airports, shopping malls and banks. Reducing deployment and management costs are key drivers of ROI. Windows 10 IoT Enterprise has improved features for managing multi-app kiosks, configuring the kiosk experience using a new wizard in the Settings app, and tailoring the Microsoft Edge browser experience for kiosk devices.
  • Exposing assigned access APIs. While device builders have great flexibility to configure assigned access using provisioning packages, the Settings app and mobile device management systems, some customers still need more. Using a new set of assigned access APIs, developers can now programmatically detect if their app is running in assigned access mode and then create a tailored kiosk experience accordingly.

More management options
Building and deploying IoT devices are only the first steps in a journey toward realizing the benefits of a cloud-connected IoT solution. After devices are deployed in production, customers require a robust and scalable device management system. Windows 10 IoT meets this demand by providing turnkey support for both Azure IoT Device Management and Microsoft Intune.

  • Azure IoT Device Management support. Azure IoT Hub offers lightweight device management features and an extensibility model that enable device and cloud developers to build robust device management solutions. Integration with Azure IoT Device Management is now available for both Windows 10 IoT Core and Enterprise.
  • Intune support. Enterprises that use Microsoft Intune for device management can now manage Windows 10 IoT Core devices alongside their Windows 10 IoT Enterprise devices and other managed devices. This gives operators a consistent way to manage Windows 10 IoT devices using the same management interface and controls.

Servicing updates for Windows 10 IoT Enterprise
Last month, Microsoft announced we are changing our approach to provide even greater flexibility at no incremental cost for customers who need more time to test and deploy Windows 10 feature updates. While this communication focused on Windows 10 Enterprise and Education product versions, the changes announced also apply to Sem-Annual Channel (SAC) releases of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise. Specifically:

  • All currently supported feature updates of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise SAC releases (versions 1607, 1703, 1709 and 1803) will be supported for up to 30 months from their original release dates.
  • All future feature updates of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise SAC releases with a targeted release month of September (starting with 1809) will be supported for up to 30 months from their release dates.
  • All future feature updates of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise SAC releases with a targeted release month of March (starting with 1903) will continue to be supported for up to 18 months from their release dates.

There are no changes to the 10-year Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) support policy for LTSC releases of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise.

Case studies with partners
Microsoft has deep relationships with partners who have a wealth of experience building IoT solutions across a broad range of industries. With the help of the right partner, Windows 10 IoT powers rich IoT experiences, reduces cost and supports insights to move business forward.

  • XOGO is one of our digital signage partners seeking to disrupt the signage industry by catering to small businesses and organizations without an IT support staff and being the leader in low cost, turnkey solutions. They have a simple philosophy: digital signs should be affordable and easy to use. XOGO has cloud-connected players you can plug in and turn any screen into a digital sign in just minutes.
  • Rockwell Automation is bringing its vision for industrial IoT to life by building new forms of intelligence to transform the petroleum supply chain. “By creating a compute platform based on Windows 10 IoT and Azure, we can place an application on the edge where the customer is comfortable and then drop that application just as quickly into the cloud tomorrow if it becomes advantageous to do so,” says John Dyck, software business development director for Rockwell Automation.
  • Redback Technologies uses built-in intelligence supplied by Windows 10 IoT Core to power their compact Smart Hybrid System, a solar inverter that collects power from the sun and uses it to run all kinds of home appliances. By controlling how systems collect, store and use solar power, Windows 10 IoT Core helps optimize energy use to deliver savings for Redback Technologies customers and shorten their return on investment.
  • Johnson Controls chose Windows 10 IoT Core to power GLAS, their groundbreaking smart thermostat that integrates cloud services and remote management from mobile devices to control ambient temperature as well as monitor air quality. For the Johnson Controls engineering team, it made sense to use Windows 10 IoT Core for GLAS because they wanted to focus more on user experience and design, while gaining the peace of mind that Windows security and updates provide.

Get Started Today
With powerful intelligent edge capabilities and innovation baked into Windows 10 IoT, our partners and customers now have more ways to easily and securely build IoT solutions with the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. To learn more about the latest release and get started building IoT solutions using Windows 10 IoT, please visit us at windowsondevices.com.

Updated October 4, 2018 4:51 pm