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Constant updates for the operating system, which annoys many home users and causes real discontent in the industry. Windows 10 IoT Enterprise gives you control of the update, provided you opt for the correct version. Read our post to find out which one that is and why you will even save on licensing costs.
Microsoft is taking a big step forward in the industry with the Windows 10 IoT operating system presented in 2015. While Microsoft dominates the home user market, many users rely on Linux systems in the industry, especially in mechanical engineering and in industrial automation. And these are precisely the users Microsoft wants to win over for themselves. The company has come up with a lot in order to be successful here and so that the industrial customers are satisfied in the long term.
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise – ideal for industry applications
We will limit ourselves to Windows 10 IoT Enterprise in the following. This version is best-suited for the industrial computers of Syslogic. It is a full version of Windows 10. Apart from some features, such as the voice assistant, browser and apps, such as Bing News, Skype, etc., Windows 10 IoT Enterprise has all of the functions that we know from the consumer version. There are also so-called lockdown features, which allow the user to protect drives against manipulation.
The other two industrial versions of Windows 10 are Windows 10 IoT Core and Windows 10 IoT Mobile. Windows 10 IoT Core was developed for miniature devices, especially with respect to future IoT applications. This version is currently playing a subordinate role in the industrial market, which may change in the coming months and years. Similar to Linux, Windows 10 IoT Core lives off of a community. Unlike the Linux community, which has been established for years, the community around Windows 10 IoT Core still needs to develop. Experts predict that this will still take two to three years. The third version Windows 10 IoT Mobile was developed specifically for mobile devices and in our case also plays a subordinate role.
So back to Windows 10 IoT Enterprise. One annoyance for many industrial users is the constant updates for the operating system. Functional updates often cause compatibility problems. This in turn can cause downtimes in production as well as failures, frustration and anger.
At the same time, the need for security increases. Industrial users also want the assurance that the version they are using does not have any security vulnerabilities. However, regular updates are necessary precisely to prevent those vulnerabilities.
High level of security without functional updates
Microsoft has recognized this conflict of interest and is offering industrial customers a solution. This consists of the LTSB version (Long Term Servicing Branch) of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise. The LTSB version was developed specifically for industrial applications. It suffices with releases in a cycle of two to three years. These only contain functions that have already been tested and whose development is completed. In order to ensure that no security gaps result from the long update cycles, security updates and hotfixes are also continuously installed with the LTSB version. The operating system remains virtually untouched for a long period of time, however, since these are functional updates and not security-related updates. Any problems caused by functional updates (releases) are thus prevented.
Generally you can say that the LTSB version of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise offers a much higher level of control of updates compared to all previous products. For customers from industrial automation or from mechanical engineering, this is an important criterion, since in the past automatic updates always created compatibility issues.
Industry benefits from pricing policy
Another good reason for Windows 10 IoT Enterprise is the pricing policy of Microsoft. Compared to Windows Embedded, the licenses for Windows 10 IoT are considerably cheaper. This is because Microsoft makes the license costs dependent on the processing power of the hardware. Since Syslogic only uses processors with low power loss for its fanless embedded systems, the entry license from Windows 10 IoT Enterprise suffices. While a license of the predecessor product Windows Embedded Standard 7 cost around 110 USD, the entry license for Windows 10 IoT Enterprise can be had for about half. The license costs for Syslogic embedded systems are also half.
More information about the industrial use of Windows 10 IoT can be found in our white paper.
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