Windows Embedded and Windows IoT: A Guide to Microsoft’s Embedded Operating Systems

Windows Embedded and Windows IoT: A Guide to Microsoft's Embedded Operating Systems

Introduction to Windows Embedded OS

Windows Embedded OS is a collection of Microsoft operating systems, including versions like Windows 7, Windows 10 and 11, specifically designed for embedded computer systems and IoT devices. These systems include kiosks, headless systems, automotive computers, automation devices, mobile devices, and digital signage, among others.

What is a Windows IoT Operating System?

A Windows IoT Operating System is a specialized version of Microsoft’s Windows, designed for the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. It provides a flexible platform for building and deploying IoT solutions across various devices and industries, running Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications for a consistent user experience. Emphasizing on-device performance, reliability, and security, it enables effective enterprise management and protection of IoT ecosystems.

Windows IoT supports enterprise-grade security, device interoperability, and lockdown features that restrict usage to specific applications. It integrates with Microsoft Azure IoT Services for robust cloud-based capabilities, making it ideal for industrial automation, automotive systems, retail solutions, and smart home devices. This focus on connectivity and real-time data processing aids businesses in innovating while maintaining security and management standards.

IoT 1 The IoT Evolution

The IoT Evolution: A Closer Look at IIoT, AIoT and MIoT

In this article, we take a closer look at four key types of IoT: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT), Cellular Internet of Things (CIoT) and Mobile Internet of Things (MIoT).

IoT 2 Comparing Cloud Services

Comparing Cloud Services: Microsoft Azure vs. Amazon Web Services vs. Google Cloud

We take a closer look at the different cloud services offered by Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud and compare them in terms of features, pricing, and performance.

IoT 3 IoT Hardware Development

IoT Hardware Development: From Concept to Creation

Learn how BVM can help you design and develop IoT hardware. Discover the power of AIoT and how it can enhance your IoT devices and take your IoT project to the next level with BVM’s expertise.

What is a Windows Embedded Operating System?

A Windows Embedded Operating System is a specialized Microsoft OS designed for embedded systems found in consumer electronics, industrial machines, and medical equipment. It offers a customizable platform for developers to build secure, reliable environments tailored to specific applications, enhancing performance and reducing resource usage in devices like retail POS systems, ATMs, or automotive control units.

These operating systems include robust security features and support various processors and hardware configurations, vital for embedded applications. Advanced tools for remote management and monitoring ensure efficient deployment and maintenance across devices. This enables better device interoperability, seamless integration with IT infrastructures, and improved user experiences through intuitive interfaces.

Windows Iot and Embedded Banners 1

What is the Difference Between Microsoft Windows IoT and Windows Embedded Operating System?

Windows IoT OS brings modern cloud capabilities and cutting-edge security to IoT environments, whereas Microsoft Windows Embedded OS provides a stable and customizable platform for traditional embedded applications.

  • Target Audience
    • Windows IoT OS: Primarily designed for the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, focusing on devices like smart home gadgets, industrial equipment, and automotive systems.
    • Windows Embedded OS: Aimed at more traditional embedded systems such as consumer electronics, medical devices, industrial machines, and automated kiosks.
  • Application Development
    • Windows IoT OS: Supports Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications, ensuring a consistent user experience across different devices.
    • Windows Embedded OS: Typically runs specialized, often legacy, applications tailored to the device’s specific function.
  • Integration with Cloud Services
    • Windows IoT OS: Seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Azure IoT Services, enabling robust cloud-based management, monitoring, and data analytics capabilities.
    • Windows Embedded OS: Does not primarily focus on cloud integration; instead, it is optimized for local or networked environments specific to the device’s role.
  • Security Features
    • Windows IoT OS: Emphasizes enterprise-grade security, providing features like Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 and advanced lockdown functionalities.
    • Windows Embedded OS: Also offers strong security but often tailored to protect legacy systems and embedded devices in more controlled environments.
  • Hardware Compatibility
    • Windows IoT OS: Designed to work with a wide range of modern hardware, supporting advancements such as USB4.0 and Wi-Fi 6E.
    • Windows Embedded OS: Often optimized for specific, sometimes older, hardware configurations common in embedded devices.
  • Management Tools
    • Windows IoT OS: Comes with advanced management tools for remote device management, container support, and seamless deployment across numerous devices.
    • Windows Embedded OS: Includes tools for remote management and monitoring but is often oriented towards maintaining and updating legacy systems.

The Different Versions of Windows IoT and Windows Embedded

Each version is tailored to meet the specific needs of various embedded and IoT applications, offering flexibility, performance, and advanced features.

Windows 11 IoT Enterprise

Windows IoT Operating System

  • Universal Windows Platform (UWP) – Develop apps for all Windows devices using a unified codebase.
  • Consistent Device Management – Control and monitor multiple devices within an enterprise seamlessly.
  • Enterprise Grade Security – Protect enterprise data with high-level security features.
  • Advanced Lockdown Features – Restrict device usage to specific apps and services for better security.
  • Interoperability Across Devices – Ensure different devices work together smoothly within a network.
  • Microsoft Azure IoT Services – Cloud services for connecting, monitoring, and managing IoT devices.
  • Supporting USB4.0 and Wi-Fi 6E – Latest connectivity standards for faster data transfer and wireless communication.
  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 Requirement – Hardware-based security for enhanced encryption and secure cryptographic keys.

Windows 10 IoT Enterprise

Windows IoT Operating System

  • Customizable platform for embedded and IoT devices: Tailor systems for specific needs, performance and functionality.
  • Supports various processors (x86, x64, ARM, etc.): Versatile compatibility across different devices.
  • Advanced security features (Device Guard, BitLocker, Secure Boot): Protects against unauthorized access and threats.
  • Seamless integration with existing systems: Easily incorporate new IoT solutions, enhancing efficiency.
  • Comprehensive tools for IoT solutions: Includes Azure IoT services and Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
  • 10-year support lifecycle: Ensures long-term reliability and maintenance.
Windows Iot and Embedded Banners 2

Windows Embedded Standard

Windows Embedded Operating System

  • Custom OS Images: Customise to deliver necessary functionality, optimizing performance and specific requirements.
  • Branded User Experience: Customize the OS to reflect brand identity, enhancing value and loyalty.
  • Intuitive Multitouch Interface: Design an interface that responds smoothly to touch, improving user interaction.
  • Enhanced Security with Lockdown Features: Reduce development while securing devices against unauthorized access.
  • Compatibility and Innovation: Run existing Windows apps or develop new ones, ensuring continuity and innovation.
  • Mobility and Connectivity: Improved power management and wireless tech for enhanced battery life and connectivity.
  • Streamlined IT Management: Manage devices with Microsoft System Centre, simplifying administration.
  • Faster Time to Market: New OS development tools speed up deployment, keeping pace with market demands.

Windows Embedded Pro

Windows Embedded Operating System

  • Full Windows Support – Ensure seamless application compatibility across platforms.
  • Immersive User Experience – Use multi-touch and Kinect to enhance user interactions.
  • Improved Mobility & Wireless – Advanced power management and wireless connectivity extend device use.
  • Access IT & Cloud Systems – Stay connected to crucial data and services on the go.
  • Enhanced Security Technologies – Protect devices, data, and networks with advanced security.
  • Reduce Custom Development – Use built-in lockdown features to secure devices from unauthorized access.
  • Streamlined OS Installation – Simplify industry device creation and deployment.
  • Unified Device Management – Manage devices with Microsoft System Centre alongside PCs and servers.
Windows Iot and Embedded Banners 4

Windows Embedded POS Ready

Embedded Operating System

  • Customizable OS image: Tailor the OS to specific hardware needs for optimal performance.
  • Lightweight & versatile: Easily install on new and existing POS systems with minimal resources.
  • Peripheral connectivity & flexible deployment: Supports various devices and offers remote and local installation options.
  • Seamless integration with retail peripherals: Compatible with scanners, registers, and printers, enhancing POS efficiency.
  • Simplified deployment: Easy remote and local setup, reducing installation time and effort.
  • Cost-effective & secure: Customization reduces costs and minimizes vulnerabilities by using only essential components.

Windows Embedded Compact

Embedded Operating System

  • Microsoft Silverlight-based UI development framework: Create unique and appealing user interfaces for your products.
  • Reduces the time and cost of development: Features like 3D transformation, pixel shader effects, and multi-touch support simplify and speed up the process.
  • End-to-end development portfolio: Comprehensive tools to configure, build, and ship new devices.
  • Integrated development emulator: Streamlines the process by eliminating the need for third-party tools.
  • Hundreds of ready-to-use test components: Expedites the testing phase, ensuring robust application performance.
  • More source code access: Facilitates easier debugging and testing.

SQL Server IoT

Windows IoT Database

  • Real-time IoT data analytics: Handles large data volumes for immediate insights.
  • Secure and scalable storage: Safeguards IoT data and scales with your needs.
  • Robust security: Features encryption and access controls to protect data.
  • Machine learning integration: Analyzes IoT data for actionable insights.
  • Microsoft IoT integration: Seamless with Azure IoT Hub and Edge.
  • Optimized for real-time decisions: Reduces latency for timely responses.
  • Scalable for growing IoT: Adapts to increasing data loads.
  • Management tools: Offers SQL Server Management Studio for database and application management.

Windows Server IoT

Windows IoT Operating System

  • Advanced security features for IoT devices and edge computing: Protect your ecosystem from cyber-attacks, ensuring data integrity and privacy.
  • Tools for remote device management: Manage and monitor your devices from anywhere, reducing on-site maintenance.
  • Supports containers, including Docker: Simplify application deployment and management for scalable IoT solutions.
  • Integrates with Microsoft Azure IoT services: Easily connect, manage, and analyze data from IoT devices in the cloud.
  • Optimized for edge computing: Process and analyse data closer to the source, reducing latency and improving real-time decision-making.
Windows Embedded and Windows IoT: A Guide to Microsoft's Embedded Operating Systems

Configuration, Integration and Deployment

BVM can configure (and deploy) an entire embedded operating system for you
or provide the help you may need to migrate from your current O/S to Windows IoT or Windows Embedded

BVM Embedded Software Services provide comprehensive solutions for capturing and deploying operating system images from customer storage devices. Whether you need Microsoft Windows, Linux, or Android images, BVM ensures seamless image capture and deployment tailored to your specific requirements. We also specialize in creating and deploying custom Windows images, managing revision updates, and offering custom BIOS configurations.

Additionally, we offer a range of services to enhance the security and robustness of your operating system. Our team can enable or disable specific Windows features, manage Windows updates, and integrate or embed your application within the OS. We also configure advanced features to meet your unique needs.

Key Services Include:

  • Image Capture and Deployment:
    • Windows image capture from customers’ storage devices
    • Linux image capture from customers’ storage devices
    • Android image capture from customers’ storage devices
    • Windows, Linux, and Android deployment from customer-configured images
    • Custom Windows images: configuration and deployment
  • Management and Configuration:
    • Management of revision updates
    • Custom BIOS configurations
  • Security and Advanced Features:
    • Enabling or disabling specific Windows features for enhanced security and performance
    • Implementation of Windows updates management
    • Integration and embedding of applications within the operating system
    • Advanced feature configuration to meet specific needs

Contact Us for All Your Industrial and Embedded Computing Needs

At BVM, we pride ourselves on over 30 years of experience in designing, manufacturing, and distributing Industrial and Embedded Computer hardware, along with configuring Windows Embedded and IoT operating systems. If you’re unable to find an off-the-shelf solution, our in-house design team can create a bespoke option to meet your specific needs.

Contact our sales team today at 01489 780144 or email to take your
IoT or Embedded project to the next level.

Take Your Windows IoT Project to the Next Level with BVM….

Are you ready to take your Windows IoT projects to the next level? BVM’s embedded software services can help you configure and deploy an entire embedded operating system, or provide the support you need to migrate from your current O/S to Windows IoT.

With BVM’s expertise, you can be confident that your Windows IoT projects will be successful. For more information about BVM’s embedded software services, contact us today at 01489 780144 or email Let’s work together to bring your Windows IoT vision to life!

BVM Design and Manufacturing Services: The manufacturer behind the solutions you know

When a standard embedded design won’t suffice for what you need, you can always turn to BVM for help and use our custom design and manufacturing services.