What is Windows 10 IoT?

by Sachin

Windows 10 IoT and Windows 10 Pro are among the most popular operating systems used by businesses worldwide. In this article, we will talk about what Windows 10 IoT is, what functionality it provides, and in which cases it is used, and we will also compare Windows 10 IoT and Windows 10 Pro.

Windows 10 IoT overview

Windows 10 IoT is a reliable and powerful OS created specifically for use in various IoT scenarios and installed on different IoT systems.

Windows IoT leverages Windows capabilities such as the ecosystem, management, cloud, productivity tools, and more. It makes it easy to manage, maintain, configure, and protect IoT devices from cyber attacks. Also, Windows IoT makes it easy for you to remotely and securely manage IoT devices.

Windows IoT editions

There are several editions of Windows 10 IoT:

  • Windows 10 IoT Enterprise.
  • Windows 10 IoT Core.
  • Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise.
  • Windows Server IoT.

Let’s look at each edition in more detail.

Windows 10 IoT Enterprise

Windows IoT Enterprise inherits the functional capabilities from Windows Enterprise, allowing you to use familiar development and management tools. Also, it has built-in blocking features that perform several functions: protect devices from malicious programs, enable Windows to run in the background while you operate another software, and be invisible to third-party users.

Using Windows IoT Enterprise, you can create reliable IoT solutions, connect devices to each other and to the server, and protect them from unauthorized access.

You can use this Windows edition in different industrial scenarios, for example, in kiosk systems, ATMs, medical devices, etc.

Windows 10 IoT Core

Windows 10 IoT Core is a compact Windows 10 version created for use on small systems such as non-display devices, wearables, etc. It works on ARM and x86/x64.

Windows IoT Core provides reduced functionality but has built-in blocking functions. It allows you to run only one program and several background processes at a time.

Windows IoT Core is used in various IoT scenarios, such as smart home devices, robotics, smart buildings, and more.

Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise

This Windows version is designed for enterprise mobile devices. It allows you to run only universal Windows applications and has built-in locking features and multi-user support.

The advantages of Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise are high performance, secure operation, and long battery life.

Windows Server IoT

Windows Server IoT is built on top of Windows Server and developed to manage enterprise IoT solutions. It is not used as a general-purpose server, but to perform a specific set of tasks. For example, you can store and manage data received from IoT sensors.

Windows Server IoT provides IoT devices with powerful management features, supports container technologies, has robust protection against cyber threats, and integrates with Microsoft Azure services, making it easy to connect and integrate IoT systems with the cloud.

Windows IoT features

Windows IoT supports MQTT, HTTP, and WebSockets and allows IoT devices to connect to other ones and the cloud. In addition, it easily integrates with Microsoft Azure cloud services, enabling remote monitoring, data analytics, machine learning, and more.

Windows IoT enables the remote management, configuration, and updating of IoT devices. It supports UWP (Universal Windows Platform), which allows developers to create apps that run on different Windows devices.

To ensure a secure working environment, Windows IoT provides security features, such as BitLocker encryption, device locking, etc. To develop a secure IoT application, you can install Mosquitto on Windows and establish MQTT communication for seamless data exchange.

Windows IoT supports a wide range of sensors and peripherals, enabling IoT devices to collect data from the physical environment. This allows the development of IoT solutions that can monitor temperature, humidity, motion, and other parameters.

Windows IoT supports popular programming languages such as C#, C++, and JavaScript, and provides tools for developing IoT applications.

Windows 10 IoT vs Windows 10 Pro

Windows 10 IoT is specifically designed for embedded devices, whereas Windows 10 Pro is primarily utilized in traditional PCs.

While Windows 10 IoT inherits features from Windows 10 Professional, it also includes additional security functions and locking mechanisms to safeguard IoT devices. Moreover, Windows 10 IoT offers advanced capabilities for remotely managing IoT devices, streamlining the process of device maintenance and administration.

Windows 10 IoT has lower resource requirements, enabling it to be installed on devices with limited hardware capabilities.

In terms of cost-effectiveness, Windows 10 IoT proves to be a more economical choice for businesses. Additionally, unlike Windows 10 Pro, which necessitates a unique product key for each device, Windows 10 IoT allows the use of a single product key. Furthermore, Microsoft extended support for Windows 10 IoT for a decade, which is significantly longer than the duration of support for Windows 10 Pro (typically 18-30 months). This ensures access to updated versions for an extended period of time.

One more advantage of Windows 10 IoT is the ability to install multiple language packs simultaneously, so users can easily switch between the interface languages.

Windows 10 IoT supports Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps that can be developed using various programming languages such as C#, C++, and JavaScript. It also supports some Win32 applications through the compatibility layer. Windows 10 Pro supports a wide range of apps, including traditional Win32 apps and UWP apps.

You cannot run Windows 10 IoT and another operating system simultaneously on the same PC, because Windows 10 IoT is a specialized version of Windows 10 designed for use in specialized devices and scenarios.


Windows 10 IoT belongs to the Windows family and inherits all its benefits, including robust security and comprehensive management capabilities. Furthermore, it incorporates supplementary features for device protection. It can be installed on a wide range of devices, including low-resource devices. Windows IoT can handle a variety of IoT scenarios and provides users with a powerful platform to build intelligent solutions and perform reliable computing.

Author‘s bio:

As an accomplished technology enthusiast, Laurenz Dallinger has a strong interest in digital transformation, with a particular focus on IoT. His commitment to advancing the field of device communication is evident in his work as a speaker and exhibitor at events like the Ars Electronica Museum. As a valued member of the Cedalo team, the company behind the top MQTT broker, Laurenz is passionate about sharing his knowledge and ideas with developers seeking new and efficient ways of communicating with devices.

You may also like