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Microsoft announced a suite of new and enhanced IoT features for its Windows 10 IoT platform at Embedded World 2019. Here are the highlights of its innovations:Matt Weinberger/Business Insider
- Microsoft introduced an IoT platform for server-class devices, Windows Server IoT 2019. While specifics on Windows Server IoT 2019 are sparse, the tech will allow manufacturers to build server-class IoT edge devices enabling high-capacity storage, as well as to compute scenarios and seamlessly scale between the cloud and the edge. This IoT variant of the company’s Windows Server 2019 could be appealing to clients who have adopted or expect to adopt Windows Server 2019, as it relies on the same development and management tools.
- The company also announced it is expanding its Robot Operating System (ROS), a set of software libraries and tools that help users build robot applications, to Windows IoT. ROS for Windows will enable developers to more easily build and deploy commercial-grade ROS solutions on the operating system. The Linux-based ROS was first announced in October 2018 and is aimed at enterprise clients like manufacturers. Via ROS, industrial robotics systems can be programmed with AI and intelligent edge capabilities — such as hardware-accelerated Windows machine learning, computer vision, Azure Cognitive Services, and turnkey connection to Azure IoT cloud services.
- Lastly, Microsoft announced that its Azure IoT Edge software modules will be available within Windows 10 IoT. With Azure IoT Edge for Windows, customers can scale their IoT solutions across the cloud or edge by deploying custom or pre-packaged code through IoT Edge modules. Users can access Azure analytics capabilities and deploy cloud applications without compromising latency, bandwidth, or data privacy requirements.
Microsoft’s IoT innovations could help the tech giant as it wrestles with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for dominance in the massive IoT platforms market. Microsoft and AWS were early entrants into the global IoT platforms market which Business Insider Intelligence estimates will bring in $18 billion in annual revenue by 2023 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40%.
However, Microsoft has fallen behind AWS; the latter has a 52% adoption rate while the former has a 31% adoption rate, according to a survey by the Eclipse IoT Working Group. Microsoft is funneling significant resources toward its IoT business in hopes of catching up to AWS: It plans to shell out $5 billion on IoT over the next four years.
Microsoft’s latest announcements build on other products and services it unveiled last summer at its Build Developer Conference. The new software offerings are part of its broader push to make its platform more useful and accessible.
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