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Microsoft Bolsters Windows IoT with NXP and SQL Server Support

Microsoft's Internet of Things (IoT) product line is continuing to grow, with a few new developments highlighted this week.

Hitting "general availability" (or commercial release) is support for NXP processors with the Windows 10 IoT Core operating system. New devices can be built using NXP i.MX processors (i.MX6, i.MX7, i.MX 8M and i.MX 8M Mini) running the OS.

Currently, more than 15 boards with the NXP processors and Windows 10 IoT Core OS are "available or in development from the partner ecosystem," according to Microsoft. Some of the board-supported packages (BSPs) come with open source licensing, per this document.

One implementer of the NXP-based products is Smart Tower, which built a solution that checks the "health" of cellular or electrical towers. The solution consists of sensors in the field, edge processing of data, and use of the Azure IoT Hub service for device connections and management.

Microsoft also announced that its SQL Server IoT 2019 product will be "available before the end of the year." It's a database management solution that's "specifically designed for dedicated-use, server-class edge appliances running application software," Microsoft explained. There's also a Windows Server IoT 2019 product that's available, which typically might be used to run SQL Server IoT 2019.

Lastly, Microsoft issued a preview this week of its new Windows Machine Learning (ML) container for use with Windows 10 IoT OS and the Azure IoT Edge service. Organizations can use Windows ML containers to build "enterprise-grade IoT solutions," Microsoft explained.

More Windows and Azure IoT talk will take place at the Microsoft Ignite event in November. Microsoft outlined some sessions to note in this announcement. Thoughts on how businesses can jumpstart IoT use are described in this Microsoft post.

Questions about IoT security could get asked. For instance, security solutions company Kaspersky recently reported that there were 105 million attacks on IoT devices in the first half of 2019, based on its "honeypot" research.

Microsoft's IoT product line was previously known as "Windows Embedded." It was mostly focused on addressing the industrial and specialized devices markets back then.

Since that time, Microsoft has added its "cloud" services (Azure IoT) to the mix, built its own Linux-based microcontroller units (Azure Sphere), and has continued to roll out various Windows IoT client and server OS products. The company more frequently talks these days about "edge computing," which happens in the "periphery of the cloud," using sensor data and artificial intelligence.

About the Author

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

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