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Internet of Things Gets Boost With Windows 10 Fall Update

New APIs, better support for pen and touch input highlight the upgrades.

The next version of Windows 10 has a number of improvements sure to please developers working on Internet of Things (IoT) functionality.

Microsoft described features that were added to its Windows 10 "fall creators update," and they include numerous ways to enhance IoT devices.

Microsoft refers to the Windows 10 IoT fall creators update as "build 16299." It doesn't use "version 1709," which is reserved for the desktop version of the OS that gets biannual service updates. Windows 10 IoT was formerly known as "Windows Embedded" and is typically used by small-device or industrial-device software developers. Microsoft offers three Windows 10 IoT editions: Enterprise, Mobile and Core.

New in IoT Build 16299
With the Windows 10 IoT fall creators update (build 16299), Microsoft made it easier for developers to build Universal Windows Platform apps that are compliant with .NET Standard 2.0 by adding additional APIs. Microsoft has been emphasizing .NET Standard 2.0 of late as a way of simplifying matters for developers.

Build 16299 of Windows 10 IoT also includes improved inking capabilities with DirectInk APIs and XAML controls for Universal Windows Platform apps. It supports "simultaneous pen and touch" on compatible hardware. Microsoft also added improved support for low-power displays, such as those used by point-of-sale devices.

The Assigned Access feature of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise edition now supports running multiple applications in a locked-down fashion. Assigned Access previously could just lock down a single Universal Windows Platform app. It now can lock down multiple apps, both UWP and Win32.

There are some management additions. Windows 10 IoT Core edition now has support for "Emergency Management Services," an alternative means of checking for hardware problems via a remote connection.

Microsoft also notably added "Device Management client" support for Windows 10 IoT editions, which enables management via cloud infrastructures. This feature works with the Azure IoT Hub and "Configuration Service Provider" infrastructure.

Previews in IoT Build 16299
The Windows 10 IoT fall creators update includes some interesting previews.

For instance, it's now possible to host Nano Server containers on 64-bit Windows 10 IoT Core and Enterprise editions. It's a developer perk for spinning up builds without conflicts, but it's still at the preview stage.

Microsoft also is previewing "Windows Device Health Attestation" in the Windows 10 IoT Core edition. It uses a service to verify a device's health status and compliance and works with a mobile device management solution.

There are a couple of Azure IoT previews, too, where Microsoft is aiming to support Windows 10 IoT devices with its cloud services. An "Azure IoT Edge preview" is described as a services orchestration tool for distributing intelligence across IoT devices. It lets clients tap things like Azure Stream Analytics, Azure Machine Learning and Microsoft Cognitive Services.

Another preview is the "Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service." It works with the Azure IoT Hub for zero-touch provisioning of devices and is "designed to support millions of devices," according to Microsoft's announcement.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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