Though I had planned on talking about Windows 10 for Internet of Things only, the benefits and add-ons mentioned in this article apply, perhaps, to all editions of Windows. IoT devices running Windows at the core can make use of many other Microsoft services for better user experience and control. The article lists some such extensions – already existing which need just a few procedures to use them up with your IoT device(s). They are the essential advantages of Windows Internet of Things over other IoT platforms in the market.
Windows IoT with Cloud Computing – Remote Storage & Backup
OneDrive, Office 365, and Microsoft Azure are already present in the tech ecosystem. Many organizations and individuals are using one or more of these cloud offerings for different purposes. Applying cloud benefits to your Windows 10 Internet of Things device can benefit you in providing a better user experience.
Your smart device can still be small, as there won’t be any need to store all the data on the chip. You may use one or more of the Microsoft cloud services for storing data, for executing code, for testing, for calculations, and for sharing data across platforms or among smart devices. I could think of only these few things. Much is possible when your smart device is connected to a cloud. A storage cloud such as OneDrive will allow you to keep data off the device, share it among different types of devices, and help keep the local storage free for more important tasks.
Another example I can think is of the need to maintain data for a minimum number of years according to the law of land. The law might vary with countries but with the cloud, you can select the longest period and program your device to store data on OneDrive. Since the smart devices are always connected, you just need to add few procedures to login into OneDrive and store or retrieve data through the device.
When a small Windows 10 IoT smart device is connected to these cloud services, they are not really small anymore. They can store as much data as you want, process as much data as required, among other things that a full-fledged computer can do.
Configuring smart devices using PowerShell
Microsoft Azure sees many admins using PowerShell to configure and maintain nodes. What about when one of the nodes is your smart device running on Windows 10 IoT? It will work because Windows 10 core for Internet of Things is able to interpret and process PowerShell commands.
Using PowerShell is best of the many advantages of Windows 10 Internet of Things (IoT). Best because you don’t have to learn a new language for configuring and updating the smart devices. You will be using PowerShell that you already know. You just enter commands to configure, update, upgrade, and secure the connected smart devices.
Familiar User Interface for End Users
With other operating systems, you may have to code for the display – if there is one in your smart device. There exist operating systems that already have ready to use code for display devices attached to smart devices. But they need not be easy to interpret and navigate. For a smart device that may use a detachable display, Windows 10 IoT will provide a familiar interface for most of the users. They can navigate around, set up things and do things that would prove difficult or confusing on other IoT platforms.
This can be roughly compared to configuring a router. You simply open the page in one of the attached computers and configure it. It is easier in Windows operating system as the pages use the familiar Windows looks. For operating systems like Linux, Kali, or Contiki, the page would be pretty much different from what most Windows users are familiar with and thus, they may not be really confident about going ahead to make changes or configure the devices without expert help ready at hand.
Read: Contiki OS vs Windows for Internet of Things.
While it is true that initial configuration, updates, and upgrades will always be pushed by the vendors of these smart devices, troubleshooting occasions do arise once in a while. This is where users can go ahead or may be “walked through” on a phone/chat because the user interface is familiar to the majority of computer users.
Easy Implementation on Windows Networks
Say you have to build a network of a machine running Kali, two machines running Android and one more on Windows, how easier it would be to configure the network? In contrast to that scenario, what if the network contains five computers running Windows 10 but different versions? And finally, what if the entire network runs only Windows 10 computers?
Obviously, the easiest scenario would be configuring a network having only Windows 10 devices. This is another excuse why you should use Windows 10 IoT for smart devices. Most businesses and even individual houses have Windows-based networks already in place. Setting up a different operating system-based smart device may require extra programming and more procedure calls. Whereas if your smart device is already Windows 10 IoT based, the basics are same as that of all other devices on the network. Using a computer, you can log into any device and set it up, upgrade it, or perform any other operation on it without doubts in your mind.
Advantages of Windows 10 Internet of Things
Windows 10 (Internet of Things) edition employs the same core and ability to connect to common services. People who work on Windows 10 (any edition) can work on smart devices as well. They can use PowerShell, Active Directory, networking, multimedia and whatever process they require. They simply need to call the related process in their device code to use that service. This leads to a better control on the smart device being worked upon – both by the developers and the end users.
Hope I have been clear in highlighting the important points to list out the “ready-made” extensions (Cloud, PowerShell) you can use in smart devices and in listing the advantages of the Windows Internet of Things (IoT) edition over other platforms.