Microsoft's enterprise-grade security is coming to Windows 10 IoT

Makers can now buy a kit to get started with Microsoft's embedded OS

The version of Windows 10 for devices from the Internet of Things will soon get security features from the company's operating system for computers and tablets.

The company announced Thursday that it will bring its Bitlocker encryption and Secure Boot systems to the Windows 10 IoT Core public beta in a push to improve security. 

Those are the same features that Microsoft uses to protect other systems running Windows 10, and it goes to show one of the advantages of the company's new operating system: Microsoft can migrate features from one version of Windows 10 to others fairly easily, in addition to allowing developers to build applications across a range of devices using the Windows universal app platform. 

The forthcoming security functionality was announced alongside the release of an update to the OS that brings features including the ability to use pulse width modulation and analog-to-digital converters. Pulse width modulation is often used to control the speed of electric motors.

On top of introducing the new software, Microsoft has also partnered with Adafruit Industries to produce a hardware kit to help developers get off the ground with Windows 10 as an operating system for IoT devices. The Microsoft IoT Pack for Raspberry Pi 2 costs $115 and includes a Raspberry Pi 2 microcomputer along with additional hardware like a Wi-Fi module and a case for the device. The kit also includes a SD card that comes pre-loaded with Windows 10 IoT Core, so people can get started with the operating system right out of the box.

The kit is aimed primarily at Adafruit's core audience of home hackers and makers who like tinkering with hardware in their spare time. It's not necessarily built for large companies interested in evaluating the use of Microsoft's operating system in products they're building. It comes with a couple of sensors that should help users work on different applications: one senses temperature and humidity, the other senses color. 

Going after an audience of home hobbyists may seem like an odd choice for Microsoft, but the strategy could pay off for the company later. In the event a home hobbyist stumbles upon an idea that turns into the next killer piece of hardware, it would benefit Microsoft for that person to be working with a device running Windows.

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Blair Hanley Frank

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