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Microsoft looks to add security, stability with Windows 10 IoT Core Services

Microsoft is adding a new, paid option to its Windows 10 IoT Core operating system that will prevent it from getting regular feature updates, among other features.

Microsoft is making a new service available to customers of its Windows 10 IoT core operating system.

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Called Windows 10 IoT Core Services, the coming paid service will be a complement to the existing free Windows 10 IoT Core operating system.

Introduced at Computex on June 6, Windows 10 IoT Core Services is meant for partners who want to commercialize a secure IoT device, Microsoft execs said.

Windows 10 IoT is the successor to Windows Embedded. Microsoft offers Windows 10 IoT in two flavors: Core and Enterprise. Here's a breakdown of which features are supported in each Windows 10 IoT edition.

Unlike Windows 10 IoT Core, which is available via the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) -- and thus updated twice annually with new features -- Windows 10 IoT Core Services will block feature updates and include security updates only. Microsoft describes this as turning IoT Core into a Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release, which gets 10 years of support. (Microsoft typically releases Windows 10 LTSC options every two to three years, with every LTSC release supported for 10 years.)

Windows 10 IoT Enterprise already offers users the LTSC option, so that they don't have to take regularly delivered feature updates.

Windows 10 IoT Core Services also supports the recently introduced Device Update Center, giving users the ability to create, customize and control device updates. Updates can be made to the OS, device drivers and OEM-specific applications and files.Windows 10

Windows 10 IoT Core Services also enables Device Health Attestation (DHA), which delivers "hardware-attested security," or insuring trustworthiness of a device via a separate cloud service.

"With these features, you can commercialize a device built on Windows 10 IoT Core and know that you have the enterprise-grade support and security that is synonymous with Windows," said Microsoft officials.

Windows 10 IoT Core Services is now in "limited preview." Customers interested in joining the preview can email "iotservices@microsoft.com." Microsoft says a broader preview is coming in July 2018, with general availability slated for later this year.

In April this year, Microsoft committed to spend $5 billion on IoT over the course of four years. Recently, Microsoft announced a new service, called Azure Sphere, that's meant to secure Linux-based IoT devices.