Microsoft releases Windows 11 IoT Enterprise

  • October 13, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Microsoft has released Windows 11 IoT Enterprise. After recently shipping Windows Server IoT 2022, Windows 11 IoT Enterprise is said to mark an ongoing commitment to deliver functionality to the IoT market.

In February, it was announced that there would be a release of Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC in the second half of 2021. In that announcement, it was communicated that the client edition, Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC, would change its servicing from a ten to a five-year support lifecycle, aligning with the changes to the next perpetual version of Microsoft Office.

Microsoft also stated that Windows 10 IoT Enterprise would maintain its ten-year support lifecyclewith this upcoming release.

“These commitments remain firm with this Windows 11 IoT Enterprise release and we are on track to release an LTSC version of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise soon with a ten-year support lifecycle,” said Joe Coco, partner group programme manager at Microsoft. “Today’s Windows 11 IoT Enterprise release is not an LTSC release and instead will have a servicing timeline of 36 months from the month of the release as described in the product lifecycle documentation.”

Windows 11 IoT Enterprise will, said Coco, deliver new features and functionality that will enable the Windows for IoT ecosystem to build innovative and modern devices.

With Windows 11 IoT Enterprise, users will be able to take advantage of the anticipated Windows Subsystem for Linux Gui (WSLg) feature, which brings Linux Gui applications to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Today, WSL lets users run a Linux environment, and up until this point has focused on enabling command-line tools, utilities and applications. Gui app support enables users to use their favourite Linux Gui applications with WSL. WSL is used in a wide variety of applications, workloads and use cases.

Windows 11 IoT Enterprise brings support to USB4 and Wifi 6E for IoT devices. Wifi 6E gives better wireless coverage and performance with added security.

An interesting features of the Windows 11 IoT Enterprise operating system is the new user interface. The design and sounds are said to be modern, fresh, clean and beautiful, bringing a sense of calm and ease.

“Accessible technology is a fundamental building block that can unlock opportunities in every part of society,” said Jeff Petty, Windows accessibility leader. “A more accessible Windows experience has the power to help tackle the disability divide, to contribute to more education and employment opportunities for people with disabilities across the world.”

Windows 11 is said to be the most inclusively designed version of Windows with accessibility improvements that were built for and by people with disabilities, allowing device manufacturers to develop, design and deploy IoT devices that make it easier for people with disabilities to interact with and use their devices.

Microsoft says it continues to address the unique needs of the IoT industry by offering Windows for IoT Enterprise LTSC and the long-term servicing channel of Windows Server, which today is Windows Server IoT 2022. Each of these products will continue to have a ten-year support lifecycle.

“We remain committed to the ongoing success of Windows for IoT, which is deployed on millions of intelligent-edge solutions around the world,” said Coco. “Industries such as manufacturing, retail, medical equipment and public safety choose Windows for IoT to power their edge devices. There are many benefits of developing on the platform.”

These benefits, he said, included creating locked-down, interactive user experiences with natural input, providing security and enterprise-grade device management, and allowing users and partners to build products that were made to last.