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Microsoft expanding its IoT offering with Azure IoT Suite and Windows 10 IoT

Coman Hamilton
Cloud image via Shutterstock

Microsoft is spreading its cloud to the Internet of Things with an IoT Suite for Azure, while Windows 10 is scheduled to get its own IoT version.

It’s been a busy week for Microsoft, as the company makes tech headlines with news of Windows 10 arriving in summer and the sudden death of Internet Explorer. Among the latest Microsoft announcements at the Microsoft Convergence 2015 event in Atlanta was the news of a dedicated IoT Suite for Azure.

Microsoft’s cloud-computing platform, which provides enterprises with the infrastructure to develop applications in the cloud, is to deliver a major expansion on its offering in the realm of IoT.

The core components of its forthcoming IoT suite for Azure include a scalable pub/sub ingestor (Azure Event Hubs), a push notification engine (Azure Notification Hubs), a real-time event processing engine (Azure Stream Analytics) and a NoSQL document database that supports JSON and JavaScript (Azure DocumentDB).

There’s also a Machine Learning capability that will provide data analysts with a data flow graphs and the ability to set up from a web browser. The new suite will provide template applications to help speed up the deployment in typical scenarios.

Writing in Microsoft blog, Corporate VP Takeshi Numoto described the new IoT Suite as an “evolution and maturation of Microsoft’s Intelligent Systems Service”, Microsoft’s first cloud-based venture into IoT using its Hadoop-based Big Data offering.

The Azure IoT Suite is an integrated offering that takes advantage of all the relevant Azure capabilities to connect devices and other assets (i.e. “things”), capture the diverse and voluminous data they generate, integrate and orchestrate the flow of that data, and manage, analyze and present it as usable information to the people who need it to make better decisions as well as intelligently automate operations.

Windows 10 IoT

Microsoft also announced Windows 10 IoT, specifically designed for running IoT devices. This version of its operating system will include native connection for M2M connection scenarios and enterprise-level security.

This move is likely an attempt to move enterprises away from Windows XP Embedded, which is still used by many bank ATMs. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would support the Raspberry Pi 2 and will make its OS free for the Maker community.

Both IoT and Cloud technology were important enough to CEO Satya Nadella’s vision of Microsoft that he chose to personally take the stage to announce the latest IoT innovations at the Convergence event. Microsoft will launch a preview of the Azure IoT Suite later this year, while several IoT services have already been made available.

Coman Hamilton
Coman was Editor of at S&S Media Group. He has a master's degree in cultural studies and has written and edited content for numerous news, tech and culture websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies.

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