At Microsoft, we’re focused on simplifying the Internet of Things (IoT) by making it easier to quickly build secure, smart devices that leverage the intelligent cloud while harnessing the full power of the intelligent edge, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and robotics.
This week at Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany, we’re announcing new products and services for Windows IoT to help make this real for device manufacturers, solution developers, and customers.
Here are some highlights of what we’re unveiling at Embedded World.
Windows Server IoT 2019 is here
Windows 10 IoT provides a family of operating systems for device builders to develop solutions, from compact low-power devices to servers and everything in between. This includes Windows 10 IoT Core for small-footprint, smart-edge devices and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, which brings the full power of Windows to IoT devices.
Today, we’re pleased to announce the release of Windows Server IoT 2019 to securely handle the largest edge workloads with fixed-function, server-class devices. With full binary compatibility to Windows Server 2019, device manufacturers can build server-class IoT edge devices that enable high-capacity storage and compute scenarios and seamlessly scale between cloud and the edge. For example, imagine network videorecorders or high-end gateways, connecting thousands or even tens of thousands of sensors or devices, then storing, analyzing, and acting on these data streams in near-real-time with reduced latency and bandwidth consumption through utilizing the power of the intelligent edge.
Easier innovation at the edge
New capabilities for Windows 10 IoT are oriented to making developers’ jobs easier:
- Azure IoT Edge for Windows—Developers can easily bring cloud workloads to the edge so that they can harness the full power of the Windows 10 IoT platform. They can scale IoT solutions across the cloud or edge with a managed service that delivers cloud intelligence locally by deploying and running AI, Azure services, and custom logic directly on cross-platform IoT devices. Customers benefit by deploying cloud applications and services on the edge, while ensuring they meet latency, bandwidth, and data privacy requirements. With these capabilities, it’s easy to see how devices get smarter.
- Azure IoT Device Agent for Windows—Customers across industries, whether in an industrial setting or retail environment, are looking for ways to remotely provision and manage their IoT devices. Direct device access may not always be feasible when IoT devices are out in the field or on the factory floor. Microsoft Azure IoT Device Agent enables operators to configure, monitor, and manage their devices remotely from their Azure dashboard.
- Robot Operating System for Windows IoT—Now developers can build and deploy commercial-grade Robot Operating System (ROS) solutions on Windows, making robots easier to develop, more aware of their surroundings, and safer to be around. Bringing ROS to Windows IoT enables rich AI and intelligent edge capabilities, including hardware-accelerated Windows machine learning, computer vision, Azure Cognitive Services, and turnkey connection to Azure IoT cloud services. In addition, customers can benefit from the enterprise security, manageability, and supportability Windows IoT brings to robotic and industrial systems.
“Microsoft has been a valued addition to the ROS-I Consortium,” says Matthew M. Robinson of the ROS-Industrial Consortium Americas. “Our membership has expressed significant interest in developments that will bring the advanced capabilities of ROS to industrial applications on the Windows platform and enable richer integration with other Microsoft tools that the Consortium membership have come to leverage.”
Extending device and silicon support
Microsoft continues to partner with silicon providers to ensure a broad range of hardware support for Windows 10 IoT.
Strengthening partnership with NXP
We are pleased to continue our partnership with NXP and are announcing a public preview for Windows 10 IoT Core with built-in Azure connectivity, running on the i.MX 8M and i.MX 8M Mini applications processors. The i.MX 8M family of applications processors will enable secure, power-optimized devices for the intelligent edge that give developers a choice of Linux or Windows IoT. Developers can quickly build new intelligent devices using the familiar and powerful Windows development environment and commercialize them using our powerful Azure IoT platform as well as Azure Cognitive Services. In addition, NXP has worked with Microsoft to enable Azure IoT Edge on Linux for the i.MX 8M and i.MX 8M Mini applications processors. Azure IoT Edge allows customers to deploy and manage containerized cloud workloads running on i.MX8 devices from their Azure IoT dashboard.
“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Microsoft to bring Azure IoT Edge to our high-performance, multicore i.MX 8M applications processors platform,” says Geoff Lees, senior vice president of microcontrollers at NXP. “With this addition, NXP customers will have access to industry-leading edge computing solutions, from i.MX 6 to i.MX 7 and i.MX 8/8M across Windows 10 IoT Core and Linux operating systems, for advanced industrial and IoT applications, harnessing the full power of Azure in their intelligent edge products.”
Qualcomm Snapdragon support for always-on, always-connected IoT devices
Our partnership with Qualcomm and board providers enables developers to harness the power of the Snapdragon family of processors with Windows 10 IoT Enterprise. Customers gain always-on connectivity and the power management capabilities of Snapdragon, with the full power of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise.
“The combination of Qualcomm Technologies’ cutting-edge platforms and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise can enable always-connected, always-on intelligent edge devices to help companies of all sizes and industries deliver on the promise of IoT. We’re excited to support the work of companies like USI, with its SOM 850, and Thundercomm, with its TurboX AI Kit, as they bring their products to commercialization,” said Jeffery Torrance, vice president, business development, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
Customers from across industries are simplifying digital transformation with Windows IoT
Building and deploying IoT solutions can be complex, expensive, and time-consuming. Customers and partners are looking for ways to take connected devices to market fast, capitalize on smart capabilities that drive new applications and services, and ensure device security. Action Point, an IT services company headquartered in Ireland, used Windows 10 IoT Enterprise to create a predictive maintenance solution for its manufacturing customers called IoT-PREDICT. The Action Point solution uses AI, machine learning, and data analytics to identify and resolve potential issues. Manufacturers benefit by reducing downtime and costs and increasing efficiency.
“Because IoT-PREDICT is built on Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, it’s very easy for customers to deploy,” says John Savage, ActionPoint co-founder and chief technology officer. “They’re essentially just installing a Windows 10 IoT device on their network, with the same familiar management and security framework they already use to manage their other Windows-based devices.”
IDEX Fire and Safety provides equipment that helps firefighters and emergency medical technicians perform lifesaving duties. The company needed to ensure that equipment would always be available, without risk of malfunctioning or going offline. IDEX Fire and Safety chose Windows 10 IoT Core and the Microsoft Azure Government cloud to develop the Captium platform to connect all in-truck systems. The IoT solution provides telemetry, health reporting, and predictive maintenance that keeps emergency vehicles operationally ready 24×7, 365 days a year.
“Windows IoT Core enabled us to leverage our existing skills and provides the security and trust we needed to develop a demanding application that helps ensure first responders’ equipment is always operationally ready,” says Jeffrey Zook, marketing manager, IDEX Fire and Safety. “Windows IoT Core, combined with Azure, provided IDEX with the end-to-end platform to build our solution.”
Learn more about how Windows IoT is powering what’s next, securely
A fundamental challenge of digital transformation is protecting IoT devices from vulnerabilities. At Embedded World, we’re not only introducing new Windows 10 IoT products and services—we’re also showcasing how Microsoft stands behind your IoT devices throughout their lifespans, including 10-year support for security updates via the Windows Long-Term Servicing Channel.
Come and see real-world Windows IoT-based solutions—robotics, securely connected factories, remote field service and predictive maintenance, among others—on display at the Microsoft booth #422 in Hall 4 at Embedded World. We’d love to talk about the possibilities our IoT platform can bring to your company.