Microsoft has announced the release of Windows Server IoT 2019, its version of Windows for tiny, low-power Internet of Things devices.
Windows Server IoT 2019 is the "binary equivalent" to Windows Server 2019 and is designed to help developers who are familiar with building in Windows Server environments.
The IoT variant of Windows Server 2019 is exclusive to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and businesses that build products for retail, healthcare, manufacturing, and other industries. It has five years of mainstream support and five years of extended support, employing a licensing model suited to devices that need longer support windows.
Microsoft envisages Windows Server 2019 for companies that build network video recorders or high-end gateways that are connected to tons of sensors that feed back in real time to Microsoft Azure cloud for analysis and insights.
Last year Microsoft unveiled an experimental release of Robot Operating System (ROS) for Windows, which gave developers tools to use Visual Studio for building robot applications, as well as Microsoft's Azure AI and IoT services.
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Until then, the company hadn't said much about how it planned to approach industrial robots, which now provide services to warehouses for distributing to online shoppers, and are becoming integral to manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare.
Microsoft now says developers can deploy "commercial-grade" ROS apps on Windows to make devices on the edge of networks smarter using Azure Cognitive Services.
Microsoft also unveiled a public preview of Windows 10 IoT Core bundled with Azure services, running on Dutch chip maker NXP's i.MX 8M and i.MX 8M Mini processors, furthering Microsoft's cloud affair with Linux.
"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," Microsoft notes.
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise also gains extra support from Qualcomm's Snapdragon support for always-on, always-connected IoT devices.
Previous and related coverage
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.
Windows 10 IoT Core and Enterprise are both getting new features as part of the April 2018 Update feature refresh.
Microsoft is developing a number of Windows 10 for IoT versions, alongside some custom Windows 10 SKUs, targeted at a wide family of embedded devices.
Microsoft's health efforts may be lower-key than some of its rivals', but Redmond is looking to set FHIR to the old order.
If people cannot tinker with Internet of Things devices, then the future is bad for free software, Bradley Kuhn of the Software Freedom Conservancy has said.
Microsoft's service for bringing computing and artificial intelligence processing to IoT devices, Azure IoT Edge, is rolling out globally.
Microsoft has launched a fully managed software-as-a-service offering for enterprises looking to deploy IoT solutions.
Microsoft IoT Central, Redmond's one-stop IoT software-as-a-service shop, is now in public preview, with final availability slated for 2018.
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