An overview of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise

What is Windows 10 IoT Enterprise?

Windows 10 IoT Enterprise is a full version of Windows 10 that delivers enterprise manageability and security to IoT solutions. Windows 10 IoT Enterprise shares all the benefits of the worldwide Windows ecosystem. It is a binary equivalent to Windows 10 Enterprise, so you can use the same familiar development and management tools as client PCs and laptops. However, when it comes to licensing and distribution, the desktop version and IoT versions differ.

Getting Started

Before reaching out to an Embedded/IoT Distributor, we recommend working with one of these devices. You can load your PC or recommended device with an evaluation copy of Windows 10 Enterprise in order to begin prototyping right away.

In order to start your journey in manufacturing with Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, you will need to reach out to a distributor from this list.

Fixed purpose devices

Tip

See your licensing agreement for complete guidance on all Windows 10 IoT Enterprise usage scenarios.

Windows is well known as the operating systems on laptop and desktops used by consumers and businesses worldwide. What is less well known is that for years, Windows has also powered many ATM Machines, Point-of-Sale Terminals, Industrial Automation Systems, Thin Clients, Medical Devices, Digital Signage, Kiosks and other fixed purpose devices. Windows 10 IoT Enterprise edition allows you to build fixed purpose devices with specific allowances and restrictions in the license agreement.

In general a fixed purpose device differs from a general purpose device in the following ways:

  • The device is locked down to a single application or fixed set of applications through the Assigned Access or Shell Launcher features.
  • The device powers-on immediately to the experience when received by the end-customer. This is achieved by configuring the device image to skip the normal Windows out-of-box experiences.
  • Keyboards, USB ports, and device policies are locked down to constrain the device to be used only in its fixed purpose.
  • The OEM licenses the device to the user with the software attached to the device as a complete product and passes through specific Windows terms in their own agreements.

Long-term Servicing Channel (LTSC)

Specialized systems—such as PCs that control medical equipment, point-of-sale systems, and ATMs—often require a longer servicing option because of their purpose. These devices typically perform a single important task and don’t need feature updates as frequently as other devices in the organization. It’s more important that these devices be kept as stable and secure as possible than up to date with user interface changes. The LTSC servicing model prevents Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB devices from receiving the usual feature updates and provides only quality updates to ensure that device security stays up to date. With this in mind, quality updates are still immediately available to Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB clients, but customers can choose to defer them by using one of the servicing tools mentioned in the section Servicing tools.

Helpful resources

Note

Additional resources may be available from you distributor to explain Windows EPKEA OEM Activation and provide guidance in generating your manufacturing-ready Windows IoT Enterprise WIM device image.