Microsoft had initially come up with Windows IoT which was formerly known as Windows Embedded. It was rebranded with the release of Windows 10 where Microsoft introduced twelve versions of Windows 10 that varied in features delivered, use cases, and the devices they supported.
With that said, Microsoft gained a fighting place in the world of IoT with Windows 10 IoT which consists of two products catering to different customer bases: Windows 10 IoT Core and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise. Since IoT has to still evolve amongst major enterprises, we will focus on Window 10 IoT Core today.
Windows 10 IoT Core is an optimized version of Windows 10 that is designed for smaller devices with or without a display that run on both ARM and x86/x64 devices. It is created to work on devices such as Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and other popular single board computers while it also utilizes the extensible Universal Windows Platform (UWP) API to build great solutions.
The IoT domain has always been popular with traditional open source operating systems such as Linux distributions. Since the past couple of years, Windows has started to find its way into this domain and have proven to be an advantageous alternative in many ways.
Initially setting up Windows 10 IoT Core to install the image and get started was a task. Recently Microsoft has focused on alleviating these small pain points and has got things sorted for Windows users.
When it comes to developing IoT applications, open source distros lack making beautiful user interfaces possible. But with Windows this can be achieved thanks to Visual Studio. Visual Studio has always been a great environment to code in and if you are strong with C#, this can definitely be your go to platform. I emphasize on Windows users because if you are looking at using or developing on Windows 10 IoT Core you would strictly need Windows 10 which isn’t open source. Well, this might never change. No doubt Microsoft wants to sell its software keeping its existing user happy. This would only be possible when Microsoft services work well only in its own environment.
I’m sure you are wondering what could you possibly build with Windows 10 IoT Core and Raspberry Pi or Arduino. These are some breathtaking project ideas that you might be interested in building:
- Obstacle avoiding robot: This could be your basic project that can help you getting used to the new ecosystem you have adopted.
- Room light and temperature manager: Next, you can get some home automation tweaks that will help you automate your room environment.
- Personal car data monitor: This can be an intermediate project where your IoT application can reveal the health of your vehicle before you start your ride.
- Pet feeder: Lastly, you can take up something that involves Cloud platforms where you can feed your pet while your in office or at your neighbours instead of letting them starve.
IoT is at such a stage now where the virtual world of Information Technology is connected to the read world. Initially this was possible only through Linux-based ecosystem, but with Windows 10 IoT coming into picture there has been quite a shift observed in the IoT market. Users have observed that in spite running on smaller devices Windows 10 IoT has managed to offer most of the essential features from parent Windows 10. The world may still seem like a Linux base and deploying Python programs may look easier but it’s best to keep your options open and in this case you have a trusted platform, Windows.