Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Core Services enter public preview

Steve Rogerson
July 26, 2018

Microsoft has announced the public preview of its Windows 10 IoT Core Services. The existence of the services was revealed a few weeks ago at the Computex show in Taipei.
“The IoT is transforming how businesses gather and use data to develop competitive insights and create new financial opportunities,” said Dan Harman, principal programme manager for Windows IoT. “As IoT technology matures and our partners gain more experience, they are evolving their business models to increase the overall return on investment of their IoT solutions. This includes adding recurring revenue, enhancing security and reducing support costs.”
The core services help IoT companies commercialise their services running on Windows 10 IoT Core.
“We are now excited to announce the public preview of this service along with details on purchasing and pricing,” said Harman.
The services provide ten years of operating system support along with services to manage device updates and assess device health.
The services should help companies monetise their offerings by creating a business model that provides on-going long-term value. IoT devices are often in service for many years, so device support costs are important considerations that are either included in the initial purchase cost or often paid over time through a service contract.
Windows 10 IoT Core Services provide the ability to distribute maintenance costs over the life of the device while also including tools to streamline and reduce maintenance overhead. These services can be purchased up front with a device or through a recurring subscription and provides ten years of operating system support, including updates for security and reliability.
The device update centre is part of the Windows hardware device centre and is used to create, control and distribute device updates for the OS, custom apps, drivers and other files.
OS updates and custom updates (apps, drivers and files) are delivered through the same content distribution network that is used daily by hundreds of millions of Windows users around the world. Updates can be flighted in three distinct rings – preview (test devices), early adopter (self-host devices) and general availability (production devices) to have a controlled rollout process where changes can be validated with smaller sets of devices before broader deployment.
In addition to long-term support and device update control, Windows 10 IoT Core Services include rights to commercialise with device health attestation. This cloud-based service evaluates device health and can integrate with a device management system to improve the security of an IoT product.
“These features give our partners the foundation to build sustainable business models based on Windows 10 IoT Core,” said Harman.
The Windows 10 IoT Core operating system remains royalty free. Windows 10 IoT Core Services is a paid offering that can be added depending on the scenario:

  • Businesses and integrators can purchase IoT Core Services through an Azure subscription. The subscription price will be $0.30 per device per month when the product releases in the autumn. During the preview period, the price is $0.15 per device per month.
  • Partners enrolled in the cloud provider programme will be able to resell the service and establish on-going relationships with their customers. They can sell a flexible, pay-as-you-go subscription as needed to meet device requirements. This option will be available later in the year.
  • OEMs can license the service with a device by pre-paying for the service. This option will be available later in the year.
“Microsoft is committed to offerings to help our partners provide compelling solutions and achieve their business goals,” said Harman. “Along with our recently announced support for NXP silicon platforms, long-term support and the Windows AI Platform, Windows 10 IoT Core Services is another step in meeting our partners’ needs.”