This week at the big Computex 2018 conference in Taiwan, Microsoft announced new programs to support its Internet of Things partners.
Microsoft prefers to call IoT the “intelligent cloud” and “intelligent edge.”
Either way, the company wants to create services and experiences that support partners’ IoT, er, intelligent cloud and edge ambitions.
“Imagine the devices and experiences we can create with ubiquitous computing, infused with AI and connected to the cloud,” Microsoft’s corporate VP of consumer and device sales, Nick Parker, told the Computex audience.
That’s the talk. Here’s the new Microsoft walk:
Intelligent Edge partner community
Microsoft says this new community will help partners connect with each other to identify opportunities for collaboration and to achieve shared business goals. Partners can also connect for training material, technology previews, hardware developer kits, OS builds, and end-to-end solution certification programs.
Community members will further be eligible to participate in training programs, community events and early-adopter programs that provide access to documentation, specs, OS builds and certification details. Sound interesting? You can sign up here.
Windows Collaboration Displays
Microsoft is calling this a new category of devices that use Microsoft 365 collaboration tools, Office, Teams and Whiteboard at “room scale.” Two suppliers, Sharp and Avocar, are set to release WCD-compatible products later this year.
Sharp's Windows Collaboration Display: 70 inches of intelligence
The devices will be large meeting-room displays, similar to Microsoft’s own Surface Hub digital whiteboard, that users can control from PCs, tablets and smartphones. Microsoft’s Computex presentation featured the demo of a 70-inch prototype made by Sharp.
Win10 IoT Core Services is a new paid offering for IoT devices. It’s based on Windows 10 IoT Core, a free edition of the Win10 OS that Microsoft announced back in 2015 to help partners build IoT devices.
Microsoft hasn't said how much the service will cost. But it did say that subscribers to Win10 IoT Core Services will get 3 main benefits:
> 10 years of Win10 support from the Long-Term Servicing Channel, which provides updates to keep device security up to date. Microsoft says it typically offers new LTSC releases every 2 to 3 years, with each release supported over a 10-year lifecycle.
> Update control with the newly announced Device Update Center (DUC), which provides the ability to create, customize, and control device updates. These updates can then be applied to the OS, device drivers and OEM-specific applications and files.
> Device Health Attestation (DHA), which offers hardware-attested security. This service evaluates the health of an IoT device; with that information, a partner can take corrective actions such as re-imaging the device, denying network access, or creating a service ticket.
Windows 10 IoT Core Services is scheduled for preview in July, with general availability set for later this year. However, there is a limited preview underway now. If you’d like to join the limited preview, write Microsoft at: firstname.lastname@example.org.