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Microsoft updates Windows 10 IoT, adds new Core Pro version

Microsoft is making the November update to its Windows 10 for IoT available to makers and OEMs. The company also is enabling qualifying users to update to Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise.

Microsoft has updated its Windows 10 IoT (Internet of Things) version of Windows 10, and has added a new IoT SKU to its line-up, as well.

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Microsoft initially delivered its Windows 10 IoT release (codenamed "Athens") -- designed for the maker community -- earlier this summer. On December 3, Microsoft updated that IoT release to build 10586. Build 10586 (also known as Windows 10 1511) is the "November Update," its first major update to Windows 10, which Microsoft recently made available in Windows 10 for PC and Windows 10 Mobile form.

Windows 10 IoT Core is for small, embedded Intel- and ARM-based devices that may or may not have screens, such as the Raspberry Pi 2 and MinnowBoard Max boards. Windows 10 IoT Core also is meant for running smaller, low-cost industry devices like IoT gateways.

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As of today, December 3, Windows 10 IoT Core is available commercially to all device builders, meaning OEMs and Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs) as well.

Microsoft also is adding a new version to its Windows 10 IoT family, known as Windows 10 IoT Core Pro. This version of Windows 10 IoT allows OEMs to defer updates and control distribution of updates to Windows 10 IoT via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

What's in the November update for those using the IoT version of Windows 10?

According to the Windows 10 IoT release notes, in addition to the added support for servicing via the new Pro Core SKU, the November update also includes:

  • Serial support on Raspberry Pi for TX and RX pins
  • High performance GPIO driver option with greater than 100 times improvement
  • Support for the QualComm DragonBoard
  • Updated features for Windows Device Portal
  • Secure boot
  • Third party pure Python library compatibility
  • PWM and ADC chip support
  • Updated base OS build
  • Bug Fixes

It's worth checking out some of the known issues in the release notes. One of the known issues involves video driver and camera support for Raspberry Pi running Windows 10 IoT Core. (Both are still in progress.)

Here are the download links for the updated Windows 10 IoT variants.

For those wondering when Microsoft will deliver Windows 10 Industry for the Windows embedded community, there's still no word from Microsoft. I've asked again today to see if there's an update on its status.

Update: From a a company spokesperson: "The Windows 10 IoT Enterprise (formerly Windows Embedded Industry) version was released this summer and Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise (formerly Windows Embedded Handheld) was released last month." More information can be found on all of these various IoT versions toward the bottom of this page.

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Earlier this week, Microsoft also made available the license key for Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise to MSDN and other volume-licensees. The actual Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise bits aren't available for download from MSDN or the VLSC.

"Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise, Version 1511 is now available to MSDN subscribers. The download file is 611KM as the image includes only the XML file that you have to deploy on any Windows 10 Mobile device to turn on the Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise features on it. There is no full image in the case of phone as it is delivered as an OTA (over the air) update," a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed.

The Enterprise version of Windows 10 Mobile ultimately will include a number of the same enterprise features that Windows 10 Enterprise does. As the slide embedded above from Microsoft's recent Ignite Australia conference mentioned, the Enterprise Data Protection functionality won't be available in final form until summer 2016.

Microsoft is positioning Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise as being suited for industry devices like ATMs, retail point of sale and handheld terminals. Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise is for Windows Phones and small Intel and ARM tablets.