Today Windows runs on far more than just desktops, and is even available on tiny low-power boards such as the Raspberry Pi.
The Pi and other single-board computers don't run the full version of Windows, but rather Windows 10 IoT Core, a free, stripped-back release designed to power the likes of self-service kiosks and smart air-con systems.
Now firms using Windows 10 IoT Core can pay Microsoft for more robust support by subscribing to Windows 10 IoT Core Services, which is available in public preview.
Windows 10 IoT Core Services support offers three main benefits: 10 years of security and reliability updates without Windows 10's biannual major feature updates, granular control over when and where system updates are applied via Microsoft's Device Update Center, and Device Health Attestation, a service that will evaluate the trustworthiness of a device.
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"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," Rushmi Malaviarachchi, Microsoft's partner group program manager for Windows 10 IoT, said at the time of the service's announcement.
Microsoft says the service will provide the ongoing support needed to secure IoT devices during their lifetime.
A wide range of security problems have been caused by IoT devices not being patched against vulnerabilities after release, such as the global DDoS mounted by devices compromised by the Mirai virus.
Windows 10 IoT Core Services will be able to be purchased up front with a device or via subscription. Businesses and solution integrators will be able to buy IoT Core Services through an Azure subscription. The service will cost $0.15 per device per month during the preview period and $0.30 per device per month when the full service launches in fall.
Microsoft's Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program partners will also be able to resell the service as a pay-as-you-go subscription, while, from later this year, OEMs will be able to license the service with a device by pre-paying for the service.
The availability of the service in public preview follows Microsoft's announcement earlier this year of support for Windows 10 IoT Core on NXP i.MX 6 and i.MX 7 processors.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Windows 10 IoT Core Services is now in public preview and available to purchase up front or via subscription.
- Microsoft says the service will provide the necessary support for IoT devices running Windows 10 IoT Core to be sold commercially.
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Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.