But let’s start from the beginning and talk about the question why this operating system is now called Windows 10 IoT. First of all a little excursion to the term "IoT":
What does the term "IoT" mean?
IoT is the short form of "Internet of Things". This term describes the idea that PCs will gradually disappear and will be supplemented and replaced by smart objects ("things"). For the private sector this means that everyday objects are equipped with processors, sensors and transmitters. For example, refrigerators that re-order food or a smart brush that analyses your hair structure. But also and especially in the industrial sector the topic IoT is interesting for many industries. With embedded micro-devices, among others productions plants and dispatch processes can be networked and thus work much more efficiently.
What does this mean for Windows 10 IoT?
So why did Microsoft choose the name Windows 10 IoT for its new embedded operating system? Well, on the one hand, the term IoT is slowly on everyone’s lips, so that this isn’t a bad idea for marketing reasons in particular. On the other hand, Windows 10 IoT is part of the so called “One Windows” strategy. This means, that there is one Windows for all devices – from small devices up to big servers. This is because Windows 10 IoT exists in three versions which are differentiated according to the type of device: Windows 10 IoT Core for small devices like Raspberry Pi, Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise for smartphones and small tablets and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise for systems with desktop shell and Win32 apps.
All three variants are based on the same core, to which different features for each device family can be added. Thanks to the common core, the so-called Universal Apps can run on all platforms or device types, which significantly reduce and simplify the effort for development and support.
Regarding the three Windows 10 IoT variants, we are only focusing on Windows 10 IoT Enterprise since this is the version that is running on (Mini-)PCs and allows running desktop apps as well as Win32 applications. Possible fields of applications for Windows 10 IoT Enterprise are areas such as POS, kiosk, digital signage, industrial control, production facilities as well as cash mashines.